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Giteau shines as Australia beat France

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The Wallabies stretched their dominance over France to four consecutive victories with a convincing 22-6 win in their one-off rugby international here on Saturday.

 

The Australians controlled the match with their unrelenting defence and discipline to pass their test with flying colours against the French, who conquered New Zealand 27-22 a fortnight ago followed by a narrow 14-10 loss last week.

 

Flyhalf Matt Giteau scored all the Wallabies’ points with a try, five penalties and a conversion from all his kicks at goal as the Wallabies dominated the second half after leading 10-3 at halftime.

 

The Wallabies beat Les Bleus three times last year and were never under threat as they made it four straight with their victory at Sydney’s Olympic stadium ahead of their Tri-Nations opener against the All Blacks in Auckland on July 18.

 

The French have only beaten the Wallabies four times in 19 internationals in Australia, with the last triumph (28-19) coming in 1990.

 

Les Bleus found it difficult to back up after their torrid schedule of back-to-back internationals against the All Blacks.

 

But the Wallabies scored the only try of the match early in the first half and could not breach the French try-line for the remainder of the match.

 

The Wallabies almost scored in the second minute when winger Drew Mitchell dived for the corner but the video referee ruled that he lost the ball over the try-line.

 

Both sides attacked in a free-flowing opening before Australia scored their smartly-worked try in the 17th minute.

 

Giteau’s long pass put Stirling Mortlock into space and Lachlan Turner and Berrick Barnes carried on the move before Giteau backed up on the outside to cross unopposed.

 

Flyhalf Lionel Beauxis kicked France’s first points with a 21st-minute penalty before Giteau landed a penalty six minutes later to give the Wallabies a seven-point halftime advantage.

 

Perpignan centre Maxime Mermoz almost gave Les Bleus a flying start to the second half when he set sail for the try-line off an intercept but was called back by the referee for offside and Giteau landed his third kick for a 13-3 lead.

 

Giteau stretched the Wallabies’ lead to 16-3 with another penalty goal minutes later.

 

The French continued to pay for their ill-discipline with replacement prop Nicolas Mas penalised for off-side for Giteau to kick the Wallabies to a 22-3 lead after 57 minutes.

 

Les Bleus registered their first points for 40 minutes when scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili kicked his team’s second penalty with 19 minutes left.



Final Score Australia 22 France 6

 

Scorers

 

Australia
Tries – Matt Giteau
Pen – Giteau

 

France
Pen – Lionel Beauxis, Dimitri Yachvili

 

Referee: Dave Pearson (ENG)

 

 

Teams (15 to 1)


Australia – Adam Ashley-Cooper; Lachie Turner, Stirling Mortlock (captain), Berrick Barnes, Drew Mitchell; Matt Giteau, Luke Burgess; Richard Brown, George Smith, Dean Mumm, Nathan Sharpe, James Horwill; Al Baxter, Stephen Moore, Benn Robinson.


Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Alexander, Phil Waugh, David Pocock, Josh Valentine, Ryan Cross, James O’Connor.


France – Damien Traille; Maxime Medard, Florian Fritz, Maxime Mermoz, Cedric Heymans; Lionel Beauxis, Dimitri Yachvili; Julien Pu

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