Planet Rugby

France too hot for Tonga

16th November 2013 18:46

Share:

Gael Fickou and Sofiane Guitoune facing camera for France

Scored: Sofiane Guitoune

France exacted revenge for their 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool defeat as they overcame a spirited Tonga side 38-18 at Stade Océane on Saturday.

A healthy level of passion from the Pacific Island side boiled over at the beginning of the second half, when Perpignan prop Sona Taumalolo unleashed a flurry of punches on Yoann Maestri.

After a fair scrap, both players were shown straight red cards by referee Glen Jackson to send them down to 14 men for the remainder of the match.

Tonga were already down a man after scrum-half Taniela Moa was sin-binned for an unacceptable elbow on Dimitri Szarzewski. It was unfortunate that those two moments of complete indiscipline will overshadow what for large parts was a exciting performance of attacking rugby from the visitors.

The early signs appeared slightly more ominous however, with Morgan Parra slotting a penalty in the second minute before debutant Sofiane Guitoune scored his first try for his country.

Rémi Talès' perfectly-executed cross kick found Guitoune in space in the right corner after good build-up in the middle by Wesley Fofana to put France up 8-0 after only a few minutes.

Fangatapu 'Apikotoa's first penalty for Tonga cannoned back off the post and it would take the fly-half half an hour to eventually put his team on the board, after Parra had added another three points to make the score 14-3.

Tonga however did enjoy large swathes of possession and their big carriers - centres Siale Piutau and Sione Piukala - along with Vunga Lilo broke plenty of tackles to keep France busy in defence.

They were unable though to register anything substantial on the scoreboard, 'Apikotoa adding a second penalty to cut the gap to eight points.

That changed right before the break when Damien Chouly dove over after a dominant five-metre scrum whilst Moa was in the bin.

Once the dust had settled from the Taumalolo-sparked brawl, France's composure grew and they delivered an excellent third try after Guitoune turned provider to send over Brice Dulin for Les Bleus' third try.

Fetu'u Vainikolo was then rewarded for Tonga's persistence with a try, Parra cautiously re-extending the gap to 20 points with a penalty, before replacement hooker Benjamin Kayser wrapped things up late on following an effective French maul for their fourth try.

Vainikolo would add a second try with a fingertip finish as time ran out, no doubt much to the frustration of Phillipe Saint-André, but France by the end were comfortable winners - emerging on top from a game that could have descended into a boxing match.

Man of the Match: For scoring a try and providing a cute assist, Sofiane Guitoune is our main man from Le Havre. His fade and then the delivery of his pass for Dulin's try was exceptional.

Moment of the Match: The classless elbow from Taniela Moa on Szarzewski was pointless and gave France a numerical advantage that ended in a try before the break.

Villain of the Match: Maestri also saw red, but Sona Taumalolo's first swing appeared to be completely unprovoked. Bizarre.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries: Guitoune, Chouly, Dulin, Kayser
Con: Parra 2, Michalak
Pen: Parra 4
Red card: Maestri (42 mins)

For Tonga:
Tries: Vainikolo 2
Con: Fosita
Pen: 'Apikotoa 2
Yellow card: Moa (40 mins)
Red card: Taumalolo (42 mins)

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Pascale Papé, 20 Bernard Le Roux, 21 Jonathan Pélissié, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Tonga: 15 Vunga Lilo, 14 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Viliami Helu 10 Fangatapu 'Apikotoa, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Nili Latu (c), 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Joe Tu'ineau, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Tevita Mailau, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Viliami Ma'asi, 17 Taione Vea, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Viliami Ma'afu, 20 Hale T-Pole, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Latiume Fosita, 23 David Halaifonua.

Referee: Glen Jackson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615