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France ends 31-year victory drought in Australia with narrow win over the Wallabies

BY Stephen Brunsdon  ·  Tuesday Jul 13, 2021

Melvyn Jaminet kicked seven penalties to help France secure a first Test match victory over Australia down under since 1990, with Fabien Galthié’s men coming out on top 28-26 in Melbourne.

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Jaminet, who was instrumental in taking his side Perpignan back to the Top 14 for next season, made his first start in last week’s first test against the Wallabies and was in sensational form off the tee, sinking his final penalty just two minutes from the end.

Having been beaten last week, 23-21, France held a 16-13 lead at the break thanks to Damian Penaud’s wonderfully worked first-half try.

Australia responded with an effort from Jake Gordon, who touched down after some great play from the Tongan Thor himself, Taniela Tupou, while Jaminet slotted the first of his penalties to respond to Noah Lolesio’s two kicks.

Australia’s discipline faded in the second half and France, through the metronomic Jaminet, built a 25-16 lead heading into the final quarter.

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The home side retaliated much like last week, with Hooper touching down for a crucial score for the second consecutive week. Lolesio banged over a superb touchline conversion to bring the scores to within two points, before taking the Wallabies into the lead in the 75th minute.

France looked the better side throughout but came under a lot of pressure from a determined Australian pack. That said, it was a sensational effort in the scrum on the Aussie 10m line which yielded a penalty for Les Bleus.

Jaminet stepped up and never looked like missing all match, duly knocking over the kick to reclaim the lead.

France then held on, unlike last week, for the closing minute-and-a-half, and made sure to get the ball out of play when the 80 minutes were up.

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It’s the first victory on Australian soil against the Wallabies since the third test in 1990. France triumphed 28-19 that day, as Didier Camberabero and Franck Mesnel each scored. It was also a match in which prop forward Philippe Gallard was sent off.

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