France claim narrow victory over Wallabies

Tue, 13/07/2021, 11:50 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The French out muscle the Wallabies to steal it at the death in Melbourne

France have levelled up the series, pulling off a late 28-26 win over the Wallabies at AAMI Park, breaking a 31-year drought in Australia.

After trading penalties, Damian Penaud scored the opening try of the game after some slick backline moves.

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However, the Wallabies continue to press their line as they look to seal a series win, with Jake Gordon eventually finding the line thanks to a brilliant ball from Taniela Tupou.

With France inching ahead in increments of three, Michael Hooper crossed late to set up a grandstand finish.

Whilst they briefly hit the front through Noah Lolesio, a crucial scrum penalty would prove a difference-maker as Melvyn Jaminet kicked his seventh penalty of the game to send France to victory.

Needing a win to keep the series alive, France got off to a strong start through the boot of Jaminet.

Whilst the Wallabies, particularly Marika Koroibete, looked dangerous with ball in hand, they failed to find the line early on.

Koroibete’s splitting run in the seventh minute was brought back due to a Tom Wright knock-on whilst a forward pass denied him another just minutes later.

A Tom Wright knock-on denies some Koroibete magic

This allowed the French to take an early 13-3 lead as Damian Penaud finished off a slick backline move starting in their own half.

Eventually, the Wallabies dominance would pay off thanks to some brilliance from Taniela Tupou.

The 128kg prop would throw a bullet pass that would make any half proud as he picked out Jake Gordon in the corner to reduce the margin to three points at the half.

After the break, both teams would trade penalties as Jaminet continued to kick the visitors clear.

With France turning momentum with some nice counterattack, they would take a nine-point lead into the final 15 minutes.

Tom Banks slices through the defence

Once again, it would come down to Michael Hooper to turn the game as he capitalised on a Tom Banks break, eventually earning the Wallabies the lead with just four minutes remaining.

However, the French held strong and brutalised the Wallabies from the resulting scrum, allowing Jaminet to kick his 23rd point of the night as they sealed the victory.

The fullback's haul was the largest by an individual against the Wallabies and sets up a decider at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.


TRIES: Penaud

CONS: Jaminet

PENS: Jaminet 7


TRIES: Hooper, Gordon

CONS: Lolesio 2

PENS: Lolesio 4

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