Sunday, July 06, 2008
Australia beat France by a record-breaking 30-point margin in Brisbane on Saturday - just one week after delivering a 34-12 thumping to Les Bleus in Sydney. The Wallabies can now concentrate on preparing for their Tri-Nations opener against South Africa in two weeks time, while France end their season with both bodies and egos bruised.
A second-half double from replacement centre Ryan Cross capped a dominant display as the hosts stormed to a 40-10 win - their biggest victory over France in 38 meetings. Matt Giteau was superb throughout, kicking eight from eight with the boot and delivering the final ball for each of the Wallabies' four tries. The fly-half set up a score for Peter Hynes before a superb break and reverse offload saw lock James Horwill touch down for a 26-3 half-time lead.
It was a miserable night for France. Despite dominating possession in the opening half, their sole reward was one penalty - from Francois Trinh-Duc - following an ugly scrap which left Horwill with a black eye after exchanging blows with France No8 Imanol Harinordoquy. They didn't breach the Wallabies' defence until the 79th minute when Trinh-Duc crossed for a consolation try that was insufficient to stave off the ignominy of a record defeat.
Australia will certainly encounter more resistance against their southern hemisphere rivals than they did against the French. The new national team coach, Robbie Dean, will take satisfaction from the strongest team performance to date under his stewardship. But the victory came at a cost, with James Horwill (eye), Berrick Barnes (shoulder) and Cameron Shepherd (ankle) all suffering injuries.
UPDATE: Video has been removed by Mediazone.
Article: the Guardian