France 34-12 Fiji, Nantes, November 13
France overcome weather to tame Fiji
November 13, 2010
France's David Marty wins the race to score their opener
© Getty Images
France opened their November account with a comfortable 34-12 victory over Fiji at the Stade Marcel Saupin in Nantes on Saturday.
In torrential conditions Les Bleus scored three tries to none against a strong Fijian outfit, with Perpignan centre David Marty and Toulouse wing Maxime Medard pouncing before the referee awarded a penalty try. Biarritz scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili celebrated a recall to the starting XV with a 19-point haul including five penalties.
Castres midfielder Seremaia Bai was among a tough France-based contingent for the tourists and scored all of his side's points with four penalties.
He was joined in the side by Clermont's giant wing Napolioni Nalaga, La Rochelle centre Seru Rabeni and debutant Racing Metro midfielder Albert Vulivuli but they failed to produce after limited preparation time this week.
As the rain lashed down the teams were tied at 6-6 through the half-hour mark before Marty seized on a mistake for the opening try. The Perpignan midfielder was alive to the opportunity after a Yachvili penalty miss bounced in-goal and the TMO awarded the score after a fumble from Nalaga.
After the restart, Medard put clear breathing space between the sides with France's second. Brive centre Fabrice Estebanez, one of a number of debutants, sent an arching cross-kick to the flanks and Medard gathered the ball to score.
The result was sealed on 68 minutes as the French scrum finally clicked. Bai had been forced to ground a grubber from Jerome Porical in-goal and under massive pressure the Fijian scrum caved under their posts. Referee Andrew Small awarded a penalty try and Yachvili converted to complete the scoring.
France now move on to games against Argentina in Montpellier next Saturday and Australia at the Stade de France the following Sunday.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown