Classy France wallop Wallabies

2012-11-11 08:57
Frederic Michalak (File)

Paris - Frederic Michalak scored 15 points as he steered France to a convincing 33-6 victory over Australia on Saturday to move the home side into fourth place in the IRB rankings ahead of next month's Rugby World Cup draw.

Michalak claimed a perfect kicking record of six from six with two penalties, three conversions and a drop-goal, and the mercurial flyhalf set up the second of France's tries by Wesley Fofana.

No 8 Louis Picamoles had scored the home side's first five-pointer, the third coming by way of a penalty try.

The Toulon playmaker importantly marshalled a magnificently disciplined French defence that survived sustained periods of pressure, notably in the first half in which fullback Mike Harris scored Australia's two sole penalties.

"The defence was great, we didn't crack and didn't concede a try," said Michalak.

"It's great, the sign of good teams which have a solid defence and don't let anything through.

"It's a great win, but we will again have to go to work because Argentina are coming next week, and they won today (against Wales)."

Australian coach Robbie Deans said: "It was a very complete performance from the French.

"They were too good for us tonight. They grew in confidence, it was an arm wrestle for a bit, but they deserved their victory."

France fullback Brice Dulin's early effort at a drop-goal went askew but Michalak nailed his first penalty from the next phase of the game after Wycliff Palu was caught offside, Harris levelling shortly after.

France showed their attacking intent by spurning a shot at goal when Australia infringed three times at the first proper scrum test.

And it paid off when Picamoles went barging through a gaping hole on the blindside for a try Michalak converted.

Harris pulled back three points with his second penalty as France went to ground in a ruck close to their own line.

The Wallabies were content to camp out in French territory and dominate possession, going through dozens of pick-and-go's before flyhalf Kurtley Beale tried to exploit any overlap on the wide.

But that tactic floundered as final passes went amiss and the disciplined French defence held firm with some stout tackling led by Nyanga and centre Maxime Mermoz.

When Picamoles wrestled a ball free from a ruck and launched a rare sortie into the Australian half, the crowd rised to their feet, only to sigh in despair as supporting debutant prop Yannick Forestier failed to hold on to the pass.

Against the run of play, Michalak kicked a second penalty after Sekope Kepu failed to roll away from a ruck and then struck a perfect drop-goal to put France 16-6 up at half-time.

Hopes that the French would not capitulate as they had done in their 59-16 thrashing by the Wallabies in 2010 after leading 16-13 at half-time were raised as Les Bleus took the game to the visitors early in the second period.

Winger Fofana linked up with flankers Fulgence Ouedraogo and Nyanga, playing his first Test since 2007, to threaten the Australian line.

When Michalak ghosted his way around Beale, the 30-year-old Toulon playmaker obviously didn't have the legs for the line, but Fofana came racing up in support to score a try Michalak converted.

Welsh referee Nigel Owens then had no hesitation in handing the French a penalty try after an increasingly ragged Australian scrum fell into disarray on their line.

With replacement Rob Simmons lucky to escape a sanction for a spear tackle on the impressive Nyanga, Adam Ashley-Cooper was denied a try by the video referee.

Replacement Morgan Parra had the last word with a long-range penalty to leave France one point off their record 34-6 win over the Wallabies in 1976 and Australia coach Robbie Deans much to ponder before taking on England at Twickenham next weekend.

Read more on:    france  |  australia  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

All Blacks batter brave Tonga
Byrne: Israel Folau a 'freak'
As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
England World Cup coaches barred
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

The Springboks open their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign against Japan. How do you see the match ending?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.