France mown down by Australia in Brisbane
Hosts were 41 points up at one stage prior to a late rally from the tourists
Australia’s Nick Cummins scores a try against France at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Photograph: Jason O’Brien / Reuters
Australia’s Nick Cummins celebrates after the final whistle at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Photograph: Dave Hunt / EPA
Australia scythed through a porous French defence to score seven tries and a 50-23 victory over the visitors in their first test of a three-game series in Brisbane on Saturday.
The hosts may have lost captain Stephen Moore to a serious knee injury, however.
Australia put the game beyond doubt in the first half with tries to Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Michael Hooper and Matt Toomua to give them a 29-9 lead at the break before Nick Cummins, Kurtley Beale and Pat McCabe all crossed in the second.
Bernard Foley contributed 15 points from six conversions and a penalty for the hosts, who lost Moore to a knee injury inside the first 60 seconds.
“It’s sore, but that’s what happens and I’ll go get a scan,” Moore said in a televised interview. “Great start for us, unfortunately I wasn’t out there for much of it but the boys did some great work and scored some great tries.”
Australia held a 50-9 lead before France replacement Morgan Parra scored a late consolation try, while their scrum earned a penalty try, both of which outhalf Frederic Michalak converted to go with an early dropgoal and two penalties for the visitors.
The Wallabies, who have not lost to France at home in 24 years, were simply too clinical for the tourists, who had a disjointed buildup with several players arriving late following the French club final while inspirational captain Thierry Dusautoir was ruled out due to a biceps injury.
Australia’s forwards laid the platform for their side and helped create numerical superiority by breaching the advantage line and providing quick ball to their backs who quickly spread the ball wide to further stretch the French defence.
The home side’s defence was also strong while the kicking game of scrumhalf Nic White allowed them to pressure the French inside their own territory and keep them pinned there.
While the Wallabies put the game beyond doubt in the first half with their four tries, they continued to attack in the second with tries to Cummins, Beale and McCabe. Parra and the French pack gave the scoreline some respectability with tries in the final 10 minutes as the game lost shape.
“It was very tough to play a game like this, we did not perform in defence and it was too easy for Aussie,” Michalak said. “I hope next week we will be better and stronger in defence.
“I think next week we (need to be) more patient and create phases and when we see the line finish (off).”