Planet Rugby

France do the job

30th September 2007 15:39

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Over the line: Sebastian Bruno notches five more for France

France await the result of the Ireland v Argentina match with interest after they secured the expected bonus-point 64-7 win over Georgia in Marseille on Sunday.

Should Argentinians lose by more than seven and not score four tries against Ireland, the French will top the group, leaving the Pumas or the Irish facing New Zealand in a Cardiff quarter-final next Saturday, while France will face Scotland in the Stade de France.

From the first whistle, Les Bleus promptly established a balance of rhythm and flair with Beauxis calmly stroking over a fourth minute penalty.

And there was more early joy for the Marseille masses as Jauzion skipped through the Georgian midfield defence and duly handed the ball on to Poitrenaud to coast over, converted by Beauxis.

The star man for the hosts in the opening ten minutes was undoubtedly their fly-half, who oozed confidence and fluidity in a controlling manner.

In fact, the entire French XV adopted a disciplined attitude in the first quarter, as the Stade Francias man sent over another three more points, taking the score to 13-0.

However, the Georgians, in their tournament farewell, deserved the respect being shown after their 2007 heroics.

Beauxis extended the lead to sixteen on 24 minutes with a mammoth kick, albeit wind-assisted, and an extra seven points promptly followed when Nyanga sneaked over against the fourteen-men of The Lelos.

And with the interval fast approaching, the number ten increased his individual tally by adding his name to the try-list, capping beautiful running rugby from several of the three-quarters.

The party atmosphere continued soon after the interval when Dominici reopened the French account, claiming a pinpoint Beauxis cross-kick to score on 45 minutes.

And when Bruno crashed over on the touchline, which was beautifully converted by Beauxis, the lead was 42 with half an hour of rugby remaining.

The French formalities continued to wow the Stade Vélodrome as a deft dink over the tiring Georgian defence from Elissalde bounced kindly for Dominici's second.

The procession continued and the half century was comfortably achieved when Nallet crossed from close-range, quickly followed by Martin.

The Lelos did get their moment to savour eight minutes from time though, when substitute Maisuradze barged over from a quick-tap, bringing the scores to 59-7.

However, the match and tournament ended on a sour note for the Georgians as flank Martin found himself picked up and seemingly thrown dangerously to the floor by Otar Eloshvili.

But Les Bleus confidently put the icing on the cake when the impressive Bonnaire dived over late on to cap a pleasing performance for Laporte, as they claimed the maximum.

Man of the match: A complete performance from fly-half Lionel Beauxis! The Stade understudy for David Skrela controlled from the outset, and his territorial boot put France in all the right areas to attack. Surely his 24-point haul now puts him in Laporte's thoughts for the quarters.

Moment of the match: It has to be Jean-Baptiste Elissalde's delicate cross-field kick for Dominici in broken play. The replacement scrum-half, who entered proceedings earlier than expected after a hamstring injury to Pierre Mignoni, weighed up what was in front of him and found his winger.

Villain of the match: It was a contest played in good spirit until the tackle on Martin by Otar Eloshvili. The substitute escaped a sin-binning however, as team-mate Revaz Gigauri found himself on the sidelines.

The scorers:

For France:

Tries: Poitrenaud, Nyanga, Beauxis, Dominici 2, Bruno, Nallet, Martin, Bonnaire

Cons: Beauxis 5

Pens: Beauxis 3

For Georgia:

Try: Maisuradze

Con: Kvirikashvili

Yellow cards: Makgravelidze (28, Georgia, tripping), Gigauri (75, Georgia, spear tackle)

France: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Aurélien Rougerie, 13 David Marty, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Christophe Dominici, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Pierre Mignoni, 8 Julien Bonnaire, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Serge Betsen (c), 5 Jérôme Thion, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 2 Sébastien Bruno, 1 Olivier Milloud.

Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Nicolas Mas, 18 Fabien Pelous, 19 Rémy Martin, 20 Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, 21 David Skréla.

Georgia: 15 Otar Barkalaia, 14 Besiki Khamashuridze, 13 Revaz Gigauri, 12 Irakli Giorgadze, 11 Otar Eloshvili, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Irakli Abuseridze (c), 8 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 7 Grigol Labadze, 6 Ilia Maisuradze, 5 Mamuka Gorgodze, 4 Zurab Mtchedlishvili, 3 David Zirakashvili, 2 Akvsenti Giorgadze, 1 Mamuka Magrakvelidze.

Replacements: 16 Avtandil Kopaliani, 17 Goderdzi Shvelidze, 18 Victor Didebulidze, 19 Zviad Maisuradze, 20 Otar Eloshvili, 21 Irakli Machkhaneli, 22 Malkhaz Urjukashvili.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)

Touch judges: Nigel Owens (Wales), Dave Pearson (England)

Television match official: Hugh Watkins (Wales)

Assessor: Tappe Henning

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