Planet Rugby

France survive Samoan scare

24th November 2012 18:46

Share:

Frederic Michalak R runs to score a try France vs Samoa

19 points: Fred Michalak

France completed a clean sweep of their November Tests at the Stade de France on Saturday with a 22-14 win over Samoa.

Unlike their convincing successes over Australia and Argentina this month, victory didn't come easily for the French, who were trailing the Islanders going into the final quarter.

The result means France will end the month as Europe's highest-ranked side and will be one of the four top seeds at the 2015 World Cup Draw on December 3.

France led 10-7 at half time thanks to a charge-down try from Fred Michalak, whose score cancelled out David Lemi's opening try for Samoa.

Samoa moved in front early in the second period however when Joe Tekori scored as France struggled to contain the visitors' power game.

But Four Michalak penalties in the final 25 minutes were enough to see les Bleus home to a hard-fought win.

Samoa were first strike approaching the end of the first quarter. From turnover ball, prop Census Johnston chipped ahead (!) for wing Robert Lilomaiava to collect. Lemi was up in support to score the game's first try in spectacular fashion.

The French reply wasn't long in coming however as Michalak charged down his opposite number, Tusi Pisi, to bolt clear and score under the posts.

The home fly-half's conversion levelled the scores but France were having a hard time matching their visitors both in terms of physicality and accuracy on attack.

Scrum-half Morgan Parra was however able to give the French a half-time lead thanks to a 45 metre penalty shortly before the break.

Samoa started the second half breathing fire and a break from scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'i had them camped on the French 22. Tekori took his chance on the fringe of a ruck, stretching out an arm to place the ball on the whitewash. It was a close call, but the TMO confirmed the try.

Pisi's conversion gave Samoa a 14-10 lead but Michalak soon pulled three back when the visitors infringed on the deck.

France turned to their scrum to earn the next penalty and a narrow lead and the hosts were lucky to see Pisi miss a second shot a goal.

Unable to unlock the Samoan defence with their backs, the French forwards put in the hard yards, earning another long range penalty for Michalak to secure victory in the dying minutes.

Man of the match: We usually pick someone from the winning side but a few Samoans really impressed. Kahn Fotuali'i was excellent and Census Johnston was awesome in both the scrums and the tight-loose. But we'll go for Taiasina Tuifua who made huge yards with ball in hand.

Moment of the match: Samoa's first try was a wake up call for France. Census Johnston's chip ahead to create the try will was straight out of front-row fantasy land!

Villain of the match: No nasty stuff to report

The scorers:

For France:
Try: Michalak
Con: Michalak
Pens: Parra, Michalak 4

For Samoa:
Tries: Lemi, Tekori
Cons: Pisi 2

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Vincent Clerc, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé (c), 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Vincent Debaty, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Damien Chouly, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Yoann Huget.

Samoa: 15 David Lemi (c), 14 Paul Perez, 13 George Pisi, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Robert Lilomaiava, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Taiasina Tuifua, 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Joe Tekori, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Ti'i Paulo, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Villiamu Afatia, 18 James Johnston, 19 Faatiga Lemalu, 20 Tivaini Fomai, 21 Jeremy Su'a, 22 Ki Anufe, 23 Reupena Levasa.

Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058