France rout Fiji

2014-11-08 22:14
Teddy Thomas (AP)

Marseille - France ended a four-match losing streak when they routed Fiji 40-15, with wing Teddy Thomas scoring a hat trick of tries on his Test rugby debut on Saturday.

Thomas scored his first from the opening kick-off, and bagged the first three of France's five tries.

France led 14-0 at half-time, and when Fiji closed to within six points, Thomas' next two tries in as many minutes sent France racing away at 26-8.

Lock Pascal Pape and centre Wesley Fofana also claimed tries, while flyhalf Camille Lopez burnished France's second 40-point score since the 2011 Rugby World Cup with 13 points from three penalties and two conversions.

Wings Watisoni Votu and Timoci Nagusa scored a try each, and replacement Nemani Nadolo kicked a penalty and a conversion for Fiji.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre fielded a makeshift backline with South African-born fullback Scott Spedding and centre Alexandre Dumoulin also making their Test debuts.

Racing Metro wing Thomas capitalised on a Fiji turnover in the opening minute to claim a high ball from Lopez and touch down in the left corner for an unconverted try.

Two Fiji fouls in the ruck and an offside position allowed Lopez to land three penalties for a 14-0 lead at half-time.

The hosts could have headed back to the dressing room with a bigger margin but they lost possession five metres from the Fiji tryline in the 25th, and Lopez missed a penalty in front of the posts in the 17th.

Centre Nadolo replaced Levani Botia at half-time and cut France's lead to 14-3 with a penalty in the 43rd as lock Yoann Maestri failed to roll away after a tackle.

Fiji pulled within six points in the 46th when centre Asaeli Tikoirotuma split the defence with a run across field, allowing Votu to score an unconverted try.

But France quickly made up for its relative lack of inspiration in the first half. Dumoulin eluded a tackle from Votu in the 55th to feed Thomas for his second try.

A minute later, Thomas benefited from Spedding's break through the porous Fiji defense to notch his third try down the left wing.

France found more space in the closing minutes. A maul penetrated deep into Fiji territory in the 67th and Pape picked up the ball to dive over. Fofana collected a kicked pass from substitute Remi Tales to score a try converted by Rory Kockott, another South African making his test debut, in the 73rd.

In injury time, Nagusa led a counterattack and held off Spedding and Kockott for the last try.

France remain undefeated in nine matches against Fiji, and host Australia next weekend, when Fiji visits Wales.


Tries: Teddy Thomas (3), Pascal Papé, Wesley Fofana
Conversions: Camille Lopez (2), Rory Kockott
Penalties: Lopez (3).

Tries: Watisoni Votu, Timoci Nagusa
Conversion: Nemani Nadolo
Penalty: Nadolo


15 Scott Spedding, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Alexandre Menini

Substitutes: 16 Xavier Chiocci, 17 Benjamin Kayser, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 21 Charles Ollivon, 22 Rory Kockott, 23 Rémi Talès, 24 Maxime Mermoz, 25 Mathieu Bastareaud.

15 Metuisela Talebula, 14 Watisoni Votu, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Alipate Ratini, 10 Jonetani Ralulu, 9 Nikola Matawalu, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera (captain), 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Manasa Saulo, 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu

Substitutes: 16 Viliame Veikoso, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Isei Colati, 19 Nemia Soqeta, 20 Malakai Ravulo, 21 Henry Seniloli, 22 Nemani Nadolo, 23 Timoci Nagusa

Read more on:    france  |  scott spedding  |  rory kockott  |  rugby

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