Michalak has a triumphant return as France gain revenge on Australia

Mon, Nov 12, 2012, 00:00

France 33 Australia 6:Frederic Michalak triumphed on his home return as he inspired Les Bleus to a 33-6 demolition of Australia to end a five-match losing streak against the Wallabies on Saturday.

Michalak, who had not played on home soil in the French shirt since a Six Nations game against Ireland in 2010, was replaced in the closing stages to a standing ovation after kicking 15 points and brilliantly setting up Wesley Fofana for Frances second of three tries.

Philippe Saint-Andre’s side relied on an utterly dominant scrum but also the raw power of Louis Picamoles, who scored the first try, to prevail against Australia thanks also to a penalty try and a Morgan Parra penalty. The visitors, unbeaten against France since 2005, had their chances late in the first half but poor execution meant they left the pitch with only two Mike Harris penalties to show for themselves.

“We had a revenge to take against Australia,” Michalak said afterwards, referring to a 59-16 defeat France suffered at the hands of the Wallabies two years ago.

“Against such a team, we had to play at a high level. but we must look forward, because it is going to be as hard against Argentina (next Saturday).”

France’s biggest win over Australia since a 34-6 victory at the Parc des Princes in 1976 was a huge boost as they look to improve from their fifth place in the IRB rankings ahead of the 2015 World Cup seedings.

The Wallabies, second in the world rankings before kickoff, were without injured winger Digby Ioane, flanker David Pocock, prop Ben Alexander and lock Sitaleki Timani.

Australia continued with Kurtley Beale at outhalf after the 23-year-old impressed in a 18-18 draw against New Zealand last month.

France face Argentina in Lille next Saturday and Samoa a week later at the Stade de France. Australia play England at Twickenham on Saturday before games against Italy (November 24th) and Wales (December 1st).

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