Wallabies cruise past France at Suncorp
July 5, 2008
Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau regained his mojo tonight to spearhead Australia to a record 40-10 Test blitz of France at Suncorp Stadium.
The Wallabies go into the Tri Nations in good form with this record win over the French. But coach Robbie Deans will be rueing injuries to full back Cameron Shepherd - whose late broken leg rules him out of the clashes against New Zealand and South Africa - James Horwill and Berrick Barnes, both of whom have undergone precautionary scans.
The injuries took the gloss off another powerful performance against an inexperienced French outfit who showed several changes from the game in Sydney. Matt Giteau was once again the maestro of the Australian attack, scoring 20 points. But France showed their intent from the off, running the ball from deep from the kick off and stole the first home lineout.
Giteau's second-minute penalty steadied the ship, and though France again ran the ball from deep the Wallabies struck again. A pinpoint cross kick from the home fly half found Peter Hynes and the winger dived over for his first test try. Giteau's conversion was on target and Australia had a clear lead. Francois Trinh-Duc pushed his first penalty attempt wide for the French. Giteau had his kicking boots on, however, and three more penalties took the score to 19-0 with 30 minutes on the clock.
James Horwill created the fourth penalty and the big lock was next on the scoresheet. His try was created by Giteau's break and flicked pass and the Brisbane crowd were on their feet for home-town Horwill. Giteau also converted and Trinh-Duc finally got France on the board with a penalty to bring the half-time score to 26-3. France were camped on the Wallabies line for the opening ten minutes of the second half but a combination of excellent Australian defence and poor French execution kept the Wallaby line intact. The hosts were certainly more clinical and Ryan Cross's maiden try typified their approach.
Giteau's pass split the defence and the replacement centre Cross outpaced the cover to score. Giteau kept his perfect kicking record intact with the conversion to take the Wallabies' lead to 33 - 3 with 23 minutes to go. France went a man down with Benjamin Boyet's yellow card and the hosts soon took advantage with their fourth try, again for Cross. Giteau converted for a 40-3 lead but it was the French who had the last word with Trinh-Duc's long-range try, converted by Dimitri Yachvili.
Australia (26) 40 France (3) 10
Australia: Tries: Hynes, Horwill, Cross 2. Cons: Giteau 4. Pens: Giteau 4.
Australia: Ashley-Cooper, Hynes, Mortlock, Barnes, Turner, Giteau, Burgess, Robinson, Moore, Baxter, Horwill, Mumm, Elsom, Waugh, Hoiles.
Replacements: Shepherd for Mortlock (72), Cross for Barnes (52), Cordingley for Burgess (74), Alexander for Robinson (61), Freier for Moore (73), Smith for Hoiles (50).
Not Used: McMeniman.
France: Tries: Trinh-Duc. Cons: Trinh-Duc. Pens: Trinh-Duc.
France: Thiery, Palisson, Mermoz, Lacroix, Janin, Trinh-Duc, Tillous-Borde, Correia, Bruno, Boyoud, Chabal, Nallet, Lievremont, Harinordoquy, Ouedraogo.
Replacements: Yachvili for Tillous-Borde (76), Lecouls for Correia (51), Kayser for Bruno (61), Caballero for Chabal (72).
Not Used: Picamoles, Boyet, Peyras.
Sin Bin: Boyet (64).
Ref: P Honiss (New Zealand).