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Monday, June 09, 2014

Wallabies notch up 50 in runaway first Test win against France

The Wallabies got their Test season off to an excellent start with a 50-23 thrashing of France in Brisbane on Saturday evening. They scored seven tries to France's two, but will be concerned about the loss of captain Stephen Moore to injury.

Israel Folau continued his great form by scoring the first of the night, followed by tries to Adam Ashley-Cooper, Michael Hooper, Nick Cummins, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale and Pat McCabe.

"He is a class player," said France coach Philippe Saint-Andre when referring to fullback Folau.

"He's a match-winner. He showed that tonight. Australia were very strong in contact and won 70-80 per cent of the collisions. They were physical with a lot of urgency, and we panicked too much."

Hooker Moore limped off early with a medial ligament tear, so will be out for a large part of the year, while debutant Sam Carter is out for the series with an ankle injury that he played through.

"I thought he'd (Moore) done a brilliant job even prior to this week. He and I had worked pretty well. I was pleased with the progress we were making off the field," said coach Ewen McKenzie.

"It leaves a bit of a void, because we had a lot of stuff in the pipeline and his priorities now change to rehabilitation and getting back, and we have to keep playing."

Moore will undergo surgery today, then start the long road to recovery. "There's nothing you can say, you go into the time warp required for it to mend. The surgical side becomes the priority and you get on with it. He's a pragmatic guy but emotionally, he was obviously shattered."

France and Saint-Andre need to regroup quickly if they're to avoid a 3-0 whitewash down under.

Posted at 7:12 am | 22 comments

Viewing 22 comments

katman June 09, 2014 8:11 am

While this was one of the worst French performances I've ever seen, some of those Aussie tries were just beautifully crafted. Israel Folau is a joy to watch.

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alasdairduncan3 June 09, 2014 8:42 am

I agree entirely. Nick Cummins effort was pretty special too.

That French fumble has got to be one of the most inept moments in international rugby history. France must be a nightmare team to watch, not a drop of consistency.

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frenchy June 09, 2014 9:13 am

it is indeed... probably the worst team to support by far.
Its so tirering/frustrating, you have no idea.
Pls send us a british coach, or even a computer analyzing stats only.... fml

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DrG June 11, 2014 10:28 am

I think the worst part for the French fans is that France; in theory, could have turned up and smashed the Wallabies... or maybe just 'beaten' them...

The frustrating fact for anyone who supports the French team (or even a team going in to face France) is that they never know what is going to happen. Of course I do realise that is rugby in a nutshell, but not to the extremes that France do it.. Take ANY 6N for instance:

England v Ireland - tough call, could go either way.
England v Wales - same as above
England v Scotland - My money would safely be on England
England v Italy - My money would safely be on England
England v France - anyones call...

However with France:
France v all of the above teams - No bloody idea, depends if the team got their escargot the night before and their crepes for breakfast, even then, they'd have to be cooked to perfection, and even then, if they can't be arsed to win they won't bother trying.

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ruckinmaul June 09, 2014 8:40 am

Michalak was so awful that even his best is considered average. All of the french people don't want him to play anymore, let alone as a starting fly half. With just a year away from the world cup, to field the the no 3 fly half of Toulon is confusing.

Anyway, the Wallabies was just too strong for them and the 9 and 10 combination click so well for them.

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Pipo June 10, 2014 12:12 am

I've been wondering for quite a while now why is Michalak still playing for France. Is there no one else? He has played very poorly not for one game but all I have seen him play for France for at least a year now.

why isn't Trin-duc (however it's spelled) or anyone else playing? someone knows?

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Bunn June 09, 2014 9:16 am

Aus looked good, France looked lost against fast paced attacks. The sedentary Top 14 doesn't prepare them well for tests down under. Nice to see Pat MacCabe back after so much injury trouble

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Colombes June 09, 2014 11:10 am

Very unprofessional and suicidal performance by france in defence. Nothing to learn from these tourists for the moment. the season has been long but pride is needed. Do u have some st andré?

Good to watch Folau becoming the next big thing of the rwc 2015

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DanKnapp June 09, 2014 6:54 pm

Absolutely. Folau is going to tear it up.

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kanpai June 09, 2014 11:58 am

To be honest, i don't think anyone expected anything from France during this tour.
In France, summer tour is considered pointless, and even national Tv doesn't broadcast it.
And who could blame them ? Players are all exhausted from a long season and obviously can't keep up with aussies, and instead of picking new fresh players to test them (which would be the best moment to do it), Saint-Andre keep using the same players over and over again, without any logic in his selection (michalak, 3rd choice in his team, isn't there anyone we could try ?).
The only new player was Le Bouhris, and played as winger despite the fact he only played this post once this season. That's the best way to destroy his international career.
I'm really scared for our national team, it seems we've only gone backward since Saint Andre is the coach. And to think the world cup is in only a year...

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Jon June 09, 2014 11:47 pm

Sure they're tired, but so are Southern Hemisphere players when they head north.
And look at England's performance, they play basically the same number of games and then they gave the All Black's a run for their money.

It's an attitude thing, I think. The French are notorious for being a fickle team, almost an emotional team.
When they get fired up, when they are passionate about a game or are in the right mood, they can beat anyone. When they are don't feel up for it, or aren't excited about a game, they can be awful.

Which would be frustrating to support, I would think. One thing about Australia, is they are almost always fired up for a game.

The other thing about the French is that if a game starts getting away from them, they really just drop their heads and give up sometimes. Like in this game, where they conceded a couple early tries, they just started falling off tackles.

All that aside, they also looked like they couldn't handle the pace of the game. They looked puffed after about twenty minutes, like they aren't used to the speed of the Wallabies attack and defensive line.

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kanpai June 10, 2014 9:00 am

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely no excuse for the awful french performance. As you've said, other teams (including previous french one) faced the same conditions but still managed to played at least decent rugby.
I'm just saying this summer tours (and maybe it's the same for SH team in October - November) are pointless the way it is, we should not go with the usual players, but with fresh and new ones. It won't make us win, but at least players won't stop running after 20 min...

About the attitude, even if i do agree France lack of consistency, i don't think that's the cause for this loss. We are just at a very low level since 2-3 years, and with no sign of hope coming.
In my opinion World cup 2015 will have only 2 endings possible for france :
- no change whatsoever and we might not even get out of the pool the stage
- a "player revolt", as it already occurred, and we could be a real outsider, because there really are some talented players in this team.

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Jon June 10, 2014 9:21 am

I guess. But it sounds like an attitude problem.

The Aussies play about the same number of games as the French each year (and at arguably a tougher level). Then they fly north and play five games against European teams away from home.
They do pretty well when they do it. Won four out of five last year and barely lost the England game.

To be honest I never write the French off though. If they are in the mood to play, they can be awesome. It's just weird how hard it is to get them to all play with some enthusiasm. I'm sure having a clueless coach doesn't help either.

Who knows, maybe they'll pull their fingers out next week.

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Mastersa June 09, 2014 1:27 pm

The French super 14 is packed with mercenaries and it's all about the money. National players don't get chance to play at highest level and the national game is suffering as a result. In saying that Saint Andre, is clueless on tactics. The Aussies still haven't got a good scrum and if they stepped up at breakdown they could of denied ball to the talented Aussie backs far more ball.

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kanpai June 09, 2014 2:03 pm

A bit "cliché", don't you think ?
And it's not because of one defeat that every thing must be changed (the same goes for being over-satisfied with a victory of course)

Even if i agree that there shouldn't be teams with only 2 french players in the starting XV for the Top 14 final, there still are teams that try to put young french players in first line (Stade français, Clermont, Toulouse, Bordeaux... in fact nearly every team except those with a millionaire president : Toulon, Racing, Montpellier).

This said, i fear that without any action by FFR, we will see more and more french "foreign" team, and Toulon's win is leading this way.

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DanKnapp June 09, 2014 7:04 pm

Take a look at the English Football Premiership, and you've got a pretty good idea of what the future of French Rugby looks like. I would imagine the national team will suffer from a lack of talented youngsters regularly playing first team Rugby.

Thank God we still have a salary cap in England, and long may it remain!

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kanpai June 09, 2014 8:25 pm

There is a salary cap in France too, but clubs always find a way to pay their players trough other means, so it's ineffective (and not punished before 1-2 years, because it's a new law).

The thing is that in top 14, if you want to play both the championship and the H-cup, you need to have 2 teams, and that's if you're lucky enough not to see all your players in the selection during 1/3 of the season.
That's why french teams hire more and more non-selectionnable foreign players. And therefore the competition is harder, and all the teams have to follow to survive.

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Vladimir June 09, 2014 3:11 pm

It not entirely the Top14's fault (and players like Tillous-Borde, Bastareaud, Kayser, Debaty, Buttin, for instance, improved a lot thanks to this foreign players.) As Kanpai said earlier, nobody in France expects anything from this tour other than getting beaten up the way the Aussies did. It is the same story every year at this moment of the year.

Surely the national competition exhausts players a lot, but Saint-Andre selections are worsening things even more. There a difference between an exhausted team and a clueless team.

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DrG June 09, 2014 10:48 pm

I find the problem with French rugby is of course the 'mercenary' thing, but also the number of teams - whilst this doesn't seem to affect many of the teams down south, I find that a lot of the teams up north tend to benefit from having 'sets' of players. Ireland has had in the past 2 sets of 9+10, sometimes they're both replaced at the same time to keep the game consistent. In France however if you have a 9 from one half of the country playing with a 3rd string 10 from another half etc etc... seems like a recipe for disaster, especially as they all get chopped and changed from week to week anyway...

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dave June 10, 2014 12:50 am

lets not kid ourselves
this is a big aussie win over a french team that can't play any decent rugby unless they're at home
did you see them nearly shit the bed against scotland at murrayfield

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DrG June 10, 2014 9:13 am

I'd be surprised if even the All Blacks could do any good if they had someone like PSA making the selections and Michalak at 10...

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rugby08 June 10, 2014 10:46 am

Do you really have to show the TMO replays?
Why can't you show some of the big plays from the game instead, not just the scores.

You guys aren't just some small youtube channel who's doing this in his spare time.

Look at the premiership rugby highlights to see how it should be done. premiershiprugby.tv

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