France do their bit against Georgia

 

France 64-7: Lionel Beauxis, starting his first match at the 2007 World Cup, guided France into the quarter-finals with a precision exhibition of outhalf play.

The number 10 kicked 19 points as France ran in nine tries and picked up the bonus point they needed to overtake Argentina at the top of Pool D.

They now have to endure an anxious wait for the result of the Argentina v Ireland game in Paris, before they know who their opponents will be in the knockout phase.

If Argentina are defeated but manage a bonus point of their own it would mean France having to leave their own shores to play favourites New Zealand at Cardiff.

There was never any chance of Georgia causing an upset at the Stade Velodrome here.

France came out with their serious heads on, coach Bernard Laporte having made nine changes from the team which beat Ireland.

But, with David Skrela on the bench, it was the form of Beauxis at fly-half which caught the eye.

He was instrumental in much of France's fluid movement against a Georgian side which ran out of steam following their first World Cup victory against Namibia earlier in the week.

The highlight was one wonderful crossfield kick straight into the arms of Christophe Dominici, who jinked around Otar Barkalaia for the game's best try.

That was the first of two Dominici tries as many of the French players responsible for the opening shock defeat against Argentina returned to make some amends.

Clement Poitrenaud, Yannick Nyanga and David Marty all scored first-half tries before a carnival atmosphere took hold at the Stade Velodrome, with Mexican  waves rippling around the ground.

As well as Dominici's pair, Sebastien Bruno, Lionel Nallet, Remy Martin and number eight Julien Bonnaire all crossed for touchdowns.

Beauxis weighed in with three penalties and five conversions with Georgia's lone reply coming from Zviad Maisuradze, converted by Malkhaz Urjukashvili.

One sour note for France was an injury to scrum-half Pierre Mignoni, who limped off in the first half to be replaced by Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.

So Georgia depart having made lots of friends despite having Irakli Abuseridze and Revaz Gigauri sin-binned for foul play.