Planet Rugby

Wallabies humble France

27th November 2010 19:26

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Adam Ashley Cooper Australia v France 2010 paris

Power runner: Adam Ashley-Cooper

After being level at half time, Wallabies eventually cantered past France with a seven-try 59-16 victory in Paris on Saturday.

Les Bleus were booed off the field by their home crowd as a second-half meltdown saw them concede a whopping 46 points after the break.

Despite being annihilated at scrum time, Australia notched up a record victory over France, proving that attack truly is the best form of defence as Drew Mitchell scored a hat-trick in the space of a few minutes.

This must surely be a wake-up call for Marc Lièvremont whose side looked completely disjointed and lacked any sort of direction.

The hosts were completely outplayed in very department expect for the scrum, and even the Wallabies' disastrous set piece become largely irrelevant in the second half.

The constant chopping and changing of the French team has left them without any sort of cohesion. In front of 80 000 of their fans on Saturday, the XV de France was exposed by arguably the world's most electrifying attacking team.

Just as worrying for French fans must be the way their team simply capitulated once the Wallabies had a decent lead. This is not the first time it's happened - similar beatings were dished out by the All Blacks in Marseille last November and by the Springboks in Cape Town in June. The manner in which French heads dropped and tackles were missed in Paris was all too familiar.

As for Australia, despite the impressive scoreline this victory must be taken with a pinch of salt. Yes, they were fantastic on attack. Yes, they managed to win handsomely against one of the world's rugby powers, but there is simply no way they can expect to win the World Cup with that scrum.

France were able to hang on for 40 minutes almost entirely thanks to their scrum dominance which was not only worth a penalty try but also a bagful of penalties.

Australia took an early lead thanks to wonderfully executed move that saw Adam Ashley-Cooper bust through the midfield to score.

James O'Connor and Morgan Parra exchanged penalties until referee Bryce Lawrence was left with no choice but to hand France a penalty try - and send Ben Alexander to the sin bin - as the Aussie scrum repeatedly collapsed meaning the teams headed to the changing rooms at 13-all.

Parra gave France a 16-13 lead shortly after the break but it was one-way traffic for the rest of the game.

Tries from Benn Robinson and Will Genia in the 48th and 51st minutes put Australia in control, before Mitchell claimed a quickfire hat-trick and James O'Connor added a try of his own to complete a personal haul of 29 points.

Man of the match: A lot was made of the size and class of the French midfield but they were completely outshone by Adam Ashley-Cooper whose running lines were simply outstanding.

Moment of the match: There was an air of inevitability about Benn Robinson's try with half an hour left on the clock. As it turned out, it was the straw that broke the camel's back as France imploded.

The scorers:

For France:
Try: Penalty try
Cons: Parra
Pens: Parra 3

For Australia:
Tries: Ashley-Cooper, Robinson, Genia, Mitchell 3, O'Connor
Cons: O'Connor 6
Pens: O'Connor 4

Yellow card: Alexander (Australia - 30th min- repeated scum infringements)

France: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Damien Traille, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Jerome Thion, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Romain Millo-Chluski, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Dimitri Yachvili, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Marc Andreu.

Australia:15 Kurtley Beale, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements:16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 Benn Robinson, 18 Mark Chisholm, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Matt Giteau, 22 Lachie Turner.

Venue: Stade de France.
Referee: Brice Lawrence (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Television match official: Hugh Watkins (Wales)

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