French find form to rout Wallabies

France 33 Australia 6

Frederic Michalak and Mike Harris traded early penalties, before Louis Picamoles scored the opening try after 13 minutes. Michalak extended the lead before the break, knocking over a penalty and a drop goal to make it 16-6.

Winger Wesley Fofana’s try, and a penalty try put the game beyond doubt.

France were humbled 59-16 when the two sides met in 2010, but the memories of that were quickly forgotten as they thrashed Australia’s scrum.

Under pressure 10 yards from their own line, the Wallabies’ pack were exposed when Picamoles escaped off the back to charge over for France’s opening try.

Adam Ashley-Cooper and David Dennis were both guilty of knocking on in good positions before the visitors got some reward with a second Harris penalty. The home side scored their second try with 57 minutes gone, when Michalak ran through a weak Wallabies defence to send Fofana over.

After another embarrassing scrum, France were awarded a penalty try which Michalak converted. The 30-year-old fly-half, playing in only his third test in over two years, was the main protagonist for the win, converting all three tries and kicking two penalties and a drop goal to earn 15 points.

Australia thought they had gone over late on but Ashley-Cooper was denied by the TV official, before a Morgan Parra penalty completed the rout.

Afterwards, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre praised his team: “I’m proud of the players. French rugby is a bit like that, when we’re scared we can do great things.

“We had a revenge to take against Australia.”

Australia’s face England at Twickenham next weekend, with the French facing Argentina at the Stade de France.

FRANCE: B Dulin, W Fofana, F Fritz , M Mermoz, V Clerc, F Michalak, M Machenaud, J Suta, Y Forestier, D Szarzewski, N Mas, P Papé (c), Y Nyanga, F Ouedraogo, L Picamoles.

Replacements: B Kayser, T Domingo, V Debaty, S Vahaamahina, D Chouly, M Parra, F Trinh-Duc, Y Huget.

AUSTRALIA: M Harris, AA Cooper, B Tapuai, P McCabe, N Cummins, K Beale, N Phipps, B Robinson, T Polota Nau, S Kepu, K Douglas, N Sharpe, D Dennis, M Hooper, W Palu.

Replacements: S Moore, J Slipper, P Ryan, R Simmons,R Samo, L Gill, B Sheehan, B Barnes.

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