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Australia hammer France in series opener



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Australia’s Wallabies scored seven tries as they smashed France 50-23 in the opening match of a three Test series played in Brisbane on Saturday.

The result extended France’s losing streak on Australian soil to nine matches and they have not won in Australia for 24 years.

Australia lost their new captain Stephen Moore after he twisted his left knee
in a tackle on French flanker Bernard le Roux.

Although he carried on playing after having his knee strapped he had to come
off after five minutes of the match.

The final scoreline flattered the French, who were down 50-9 before scoring
two late tries with the game well and truly over.

The Wallabies scored four tries in the first half and three more in the second
as the French wilted in the face of the rampant Australian attack.

“We wanted to win the first Test of the season, it’s not something we’ve
done for a number of years,” Australian coach Ewen McKenzie said.

“I think seven tries is a good indication of the intention (of the Wallabies).”

McKenzie said Australia were made to work hard for the win despite the size
of the scoreline.

“We didn’t have it all our own way, we just had to keep at it,” he

“Some of the tries were just the result of good pressure, consistent pressure.

“Once we got in front on the scoreboard it was a matter of discipline,
and we did pretty well there.”

More than 33,000 fans turned up to watch the match at the Suncorp Stadium,
played in almost perfect conditions.

The turn-out was lower than expected thanks largely to the absence of Queensland
scrumhalf Will Genia, who was dropped from the 23-man squad and replaced by
Nic White from the ACT Brumbies.

But the untested halves combination of White and Bernard Foley were superb,
combining brilliantly with the equally untested inside centre Matt Toomua.

They were so dominant that McKenzie was able to rest White and Toomua with
15 minutes remaining.

The Wallabies hardly missed a beat, with replacement backs Kurtley Beale and
Pat McCabe both scoring spectacular tries.

France had started brightly enough and played some enterprising rugby in the
opening stages.

“For the first 15 minutes we were competitive with the pace of the game
but then we started to commit a few errors and we fell away,” French coach
Philippe Saint-Andre said.

Saint-Andre conceded he had been surprised by how well the Australians had
come together after only one week in camp.

“They gelled quite well very, very quickly,” he said.

“They didn’t panic, they were well organised all the time and they were
very strong in the contact area. In the one to ones I think they won 70-80 percent
of the collisions.”

Once the Australians settled into the match they quickly began to take control,
dominating both possession and territory.

Fullback Israel Folau continued his remarkable try-scoring record when he brushed
aside Yoann Huget to cross out wide for his 11th try in just 16 Tests.

Right winger Adam Ashley-Cooper and flanker Michael Hooper added to the try-scoring
against an increasingly despondent France.

On the stroke of half-time centre Matt Toomua took advantage of some comical
French defending when he fell on the ball for a try after French scrumhalf Maxime
Machenaud twice failed to ground the ball over the line.

The French held out for 17 minutes in the second half but the Wallabies weren’t
to be denied as winger Nick Cummins added the fifth try after some good lead-up
work from Toomua and Folau.

Beale and McCabe then both crossed after some superb backline work and a record
winning margin was on the cards.

However, the French bravely battled back, with Morgan Parra barging over for
a five-poi

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