France demolish Samoa

21st Nov 2009, 23:27

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François Trinh-Duc: Two tries

François Trinh-Duc: Two tries

France ran seven tries past Samoa on Saturday as they cruised to an impressive 43-5 victory at the Stade de France.

France ran seven tries past Samoa on Saturday as they cruised to an impressive 43-5 victory at the Stade de France.

After crashing and bashing South Africa into oblivion last week, a virtually all-new XV de France showed they can turn on the flair when needed, giving Marc Lièvremont a couple of selection headaches leading up to next week's clash with the All Blacks.

Not that France's coach will be complaining as his 'second team' proved his squad has the variety of resources needed to adapt their game as they wish.

Most importantly play-maker François Trinh-Duc showed that he can launch his back-line as well as he can keep his pack moving forward - and did it all without getting injured thus ensuring France will take some sort of continuity into the showdown with New Zealand.

All and any intrigue as to the result in Paris evaporated by the quarter-hour mark, by which time France has scored three tries to lead 21-0.

The hosts got off to a perfect start when hooker Dimitri Szarzewski was able to stroll over untouched from five metres out when he exploited a gap left by the Samoan defence around the fringes of a ruck after just three minutes.

France doubled the lead four minutes later when wing Vincent Clerc ran onto a neat grubber from full-back Maxime Médard. Try number three was soon to follow as Trinh-Duc chipped over the top for centre Yannick Jauzion, who plucked the ball out of the air one-handed in a fabulous display of skill.

Samoa fought back bravely but full-back Lolo Lui and fly-half Fa'atonu Fili proceeded to miss three kickable penalties between them to leave their side scoreless.

France continued their merciless show of dominance with a textbook maul off the back of a line-out to score an essai collectif. The TMO reckoned the ball had touched the grass somewhere at the bottom of the pile of bodies and awarded the try. Morgan Parra added his fourth conversion to extend the lead to 28 points.

Debutant wing Benjamin Fall scored France's fifth try just before half-time when Julien Bonnaire provided a carbon copy of Médard's earlier grubber for Clerc and the Bayonne wing pounced to send Les Bleus into the changing rooms ahead 33-0.

It was much of the same after the break. Trinh-Duc was on hand to brilliantly finish off France's sixth try with a neat step and an outstretched arm.

The fly-half also scored the number seven for the hosts, after bursting down the blindside and showing his pace down the touchline with a 30m sprint to finish untouched.

At 43-0 France understandably went into their shells a bit and Samoa dominated the final quarter.

The Islanders were rewarded with late consolation try when Castres lock Iosefa Tekori charged over to cap a period of sustained pressure.

Man of the match: France will be able to draw a number of positives from this game: scrum-half Morgan Parra showed he has the form to back up Julien Dupuy as a place picker, Sebastien Chabal showed he still has plenty to offer in the engine room while Yannick Jauzion showed he still has all the class that made him one of the world's most feared centres. But we'll go with Francois Trinh-Duc who repaid the faith put in him by his coach with two tries.

Moment of the match: If Dimitri Szarzewski's try after three minutes had punctured Samoa's bubble before it had a chance to fill up, Yannick Jauzion's one-handed catch to score after fourteen minutes truly ended the visitors' hopes.

Villain of the match: As if it wasn't enough for Misioka Timoteo to nearly decapitate Vincent Clerc with a high tackle, he followed it up with some foul language as Clerc lay there counting stars. Not cool.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries:
Szarzewski, Clerc, Jauzion, Dusautoir, Fall, Trinh-Duc 2
Cons: Parra 5

For Samoa:
Tries:
Tekori

France:: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 David Marty, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Vincent Clerc, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Julien Bonnaire, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Alexandre Lapandry, 5 Pascal Pape, 4 Sebastien Chabal, 3 Sylvain Marconnet (c), 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Nicolas Mas, 18 Romain Millo-Chluski, 19 Julien Puricelli, 20 Julien Dupuy, 21 Damien Traille, 22 Yann David, 23 Fabien Barcella.

Samoa: 15 Lolo Lui, 14 David Lemi, 13 Henry Fa'afili, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Fa'atonu Fili, 9 Junior Polu, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Jonathan Fa'amatuainu, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Filipo Levi, 3 Cencus Johnston, 2 Mahonri Schwalger (c), 1 Justin Va'a.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Williams, 17 Jeremiah Fatialofa, 18 Iosefa Tekori, 19 Misioka Timoteo, 20 Uale Mai, 21 Fuimaolo-Sapolu, 22 Titi Esau.

<Venue: Stade de France, St. Denis (Paris)
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
Assistant referees: Rob Debney (England), Stuart Terheege (England)
Television match officials: Geoff Warren (England)
Assessor: David Herbert (Wales)