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Australia too slick for France



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Australia comfortably beat France at the the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. The final score was Australia 34 France 13.

Australia scored four tries to France’s one which came around 15 minutes from full time when the Wallabies started to sit back a little as they knew the game was safe.


In the first half Australia scored the only try of the half.

Their second half was a much more refined performances as they took a step up and the French started dropping off the pace and missing tackles.

Flyhalf Matt Giteau scored a try and kicked four conversions and two penalties in the match.

It was the second win for the Wallabies under former Canterbury Crusaders coach Robbie Deans. The teams play again next Saturday in Brisbane.

The 21-point victory at the former Olympic stadium eclipsed Australia’s previous biggest home win over France, a 48-31 triumph in Brisbane in 1990.

Giteau scored all of his side’s points as Australia led 10-6 at halftime.


The Wallabies controlled the territory but turned in a poor half of passing and catching, botching the majority of scoring opportunities with handling errors.

Giteau also made a sloppy start with his goalkicking, missing a simple shot from 25 meters in the fifth minute.

But he got the Wallabies on the scoreboard in the 19th minute when he booted a penalty goal from virtually the same spot of his earlier miss.

The French replied with a penalty goal to Dimitri Yachvili two minutes later when Wallabies backrowers were penalized for not rolling away after a tackle on French fullback Pepito Elhorga, who had to leave the field with a shoulder injury.

In the 36th minute, fullback Cameron Shepherd split the French defense 50 meters out in a movement that resulted in Giteau shaking off a tackle from Sebastien Chabal and scoring, his conversion making it 10-3.

Shepherd later failed to find touch from within his own 22 after the siren and the French counterattacked and were awarded a penalty 20 meters out, and Yachvili made the score 10-6.

Before a crowd of 48,899, Nathan Sharpe scored Australia’s second try in the 43rd minute, and Giteau converted for a 17-6 lead.

Rocky Elsom added another Wallabies try four minutes later, and Giteau’s conversion put the home side up 24-6.

Australia captain Stirling Mortlock intercepted a pass back inside by Damien Traille, who was under pressure in his own half, to score under the posts in 60th minute.

Alexis Palisson scored France’s only try in the 66th minute, crossing next to the posts after rolling over the top of Mortlock to ground the ball, and Francois Trinh-Doc converted

. “We had a huge amount of possession but it just seemed like we were a pass out, which is a little bit frustrating,” said Mortlock.

“But I’m very happy with the effort.

“You never quite know what you’re going to get with the French, and that was on show tonight. Sometimes they put you under a lot of pressure and sometimes they let you play.”

Final Score Australia 34 France 13


Tries – Giteau, Sharpe, Elsom, Mortlock
Pen – Giteau 2
Con – Giteau 4

Tries – Palisson
Pen – Vermeulen,Yachvili
Con – Trinh-Duc


Man of the match – Peter Hynes


Referee – Marius Joncker

Touch Judges – Bryce Lawrence & Jonathan Kaplan.

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