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By Qantas Wallabies Media Unit
The Qantas Wallabies have suffered a first up defeat at the hands of France in their opening Spring Tour match of 2012 this morning, going down 33-6 in front of a vocal French crowd.
The Qantas Wallabies entered half time trailing the French by 10 points after the home side ran in the only try of the first half following a scrum five metres out from the Australian line.
The boot of Qantas Wallabies flyhalf, Mike Harris, kept the visitors score ticking over with two penalty goals, however his opposite number, Frederic Michalak, also secured two penalty goals as well as a drop goal to give the home side the upper hand.
The second half didn’t start well for the visitors with the French reclaiming the kick-off to immediately put the Australian defence under pressure.
Within two minutes the French had an opportunity to stretch their lead, however a penalty goal attempt by Florian Fritz was unsuccessful and the Qantas Wallabies hope of pegging back Les Bleus remained.
The French did manage to secure the first points of the second half though, crossing for their second try of the match in the 55th minute through winger, Wesley Fofana and when Les Bleus flyhalf , Frederik Michalak converted the French led 23-6.
Nine minutes later and the Australian’s night got worse when referee Nigel Owen awarded the home side a penalty try after he lost patience with the Australian’s scrum, which had been well beaten for most of the night.
Again Michalak added the extras and the Qantas Wallabies found themselves trailing 30-6 with just 15 minutes left.
The Qantas Wallabies refused to lie down and three minutes later in the 68th minute Australian winger, Adam Ashley-Cooper thought he’d crossed for the tourists first five pointer of the Spring Tour.
The try was referred to the TMO for a decision and after several minutes of deliberation and replays Referee Nigel Owen awarded an Australian scrum five metres out after the TMO had ruled the ball to have been held up.
With four minutes remaining on the clock the French were awarded a penalty and thanks to the boot of replacement flyhalf, Francois Trinh-Duc, they extended their lead to 27-points.
Despite a number of last minute forays into the French half in an attempt to secure a consolation try the Qantas Wallabies could not break the fierce French defence and when the final siren sounded the tourists found themselves on the wrong side of the 33-6 score line.
The Qantas Wallabies will now re-group and move to London to face England next weekend at Twickenham Stadium.
Minute by Minute:
First Half –.Kick-off by Australia
4th: Penalty Goal attempt by Frédéric Michalak successful – France 3 – Australia 0
9th: Penalty Goal attempt by Mike Harris successful – France 3 – Australia 3
11th: Penalty to France, scrum
12th: Try to France by Louis Picamoles – France 8 – Australia 3
13th: Conversion attempt by Frédéric Michalak successful – France 10 – Australia 3
14th: Scrum France, kick-off grounded in goal
17th: Scrum Australia, French lineout not five metres
18th: Knock on by Australia, scrum France
20th: Penalty to Australia, not rolling away, kick at goal
22nd: Penalty Goal attempt by Mike Harris successful, France 10 – Australia 6
23rd: Penalty to Australia, tackled without the ball, kick to touch
23rd: Penalty to Australia, playing the ball on the ground, kick to touch
24th: Scrum France, lineout not straight
29th: Substitution by Australia, Benn Robinson replaced by James Slipper
30th: Knock on by Australia, scrum to France
32nd: Penalty to France, not staying square in the ruck, kick to touch
33rd: Knock on by France, scrum to Australia
35th: Scrum France, accidental offside Australia
36th: Penalty to France, not rolling away, kick at goal
37th: Penalty Goal attempt by Frédéric Michalak successful, France 13 – Australia 6
38th: Substitution by Australia, James Slipper replaced by Benn Robinson
40th: Drop Goal attempt by Frédéric Michalak successful, Frnace 16 – Australia 6
Half Time: France 16 – Australia 6
42nd: Knock on by France, scrum to Australia
45th: Knock on by France, scrum to Australia
47th: Penalty to France, collapsing the scrum, kick at goal
48th: Penalty Goal attempt by Florian Fritz unsuccessful, France 16 – Australia 6
50th: Scrum to Australia, ball unplayable
50th: Replacement by Australia, Sekope Kepu replaced by James Slipper
51st: Knock on by Australia, scrum to France
53rd: Penalty to Australia, not releasing the ball, kick to touch
55th: Try to France, Wesley Fofana, France 21 – Australia 6
56th: Conversion attempt by Frederic Michalak successful, France 23 – Australia 6
56th: Replacement by Australia, Mike Harris replaced by Berrick Barnes
59th: Knock on by Australia, scrum France
60th: Replacement by Australia, Tatafu Polota-Nau replaced by Stephen Moore
60th: Replacement by Australia, Wycliff Palu replaced by Radike Samo
60th: Penalty to France, not binding properly, kick to touch
64th: Scrum to France, held up in goal
64th: Penalty Try to France, France 28 – Australia 6
65th: Conversion attempt by Frederic Michalak successful, France 30 – Australia 6
65th: Replacement by Australia, Nathan Sharpe replaced by Rob Simmons
66th: Penalty to France, dangerous tackling, kick to touch
68th: TMO decision pending on Australia Try
68th: Replacement by Australia, Benn Robinson replaced by Paddy Ryan
68th: TMO decision no try, held up, Scrum Australia
69th: Penalty to France, collapsing the scrum, kick to touch
70th: Replacement by Australia, Dave Dennis replaced by Liam Gill
71st: Knock on by Australia, play on
73rd: Penalty to France, sealing off, kick to touch
74th: Knock on by Australia, scrum France
75th: Penalty France, collapsing the scrum, kick at goal
76th: Penalty Goal attempt by Francois Trinh-Duc successful, France 33 – Australia 6
77th: Knock on by Australia, scrum France
80th: Knock on by Australia, full time
Full Time: France 33 – Australia 6