Wednesday, November 17, 2010
France and Fiji met in Nantes in atrocious conditions on Saturday as the home side won 34-12 with Dimitri Yachvili kicking 19 points in a game that tried, but failed to live up to expectations, mainly due to the weather.
David Marty and Maxime Medard scored tries for France, with their third coming from a penalty try after a powerful scrum left the Fijians in tatters. Seremaia Bai managed four penalties for the visitors. The wet conditions hampered the Fijians, who fielded a fairly strong side but failed to utilise their talent in the cold, miserable weather.
France are still unbeaten against Fiji, with Saturdays win taking the record up to eight matches between the sides with the French coming out on top each time. The venue was however the scene of Fijis classic win over Wales in the 2007 World Cup, a team they will face on Friday night.
It will be their first meeting since that historic game, an epic 38-34 win for the Fijians that knocked the Welsh out of the tournament. Revenge will be on the cards.
"They gave Welsh rugby a huge shock. They got a result they deserved that day, and the guys have now got an opportunity to go out on Friday and put that ghost to bed," said Ryan Jones.
"We don't want to get involved in playing 15-a-side sevens. We don't want to go out and try to beat Fiji at their own game, we want to go out and play the way we've developed and try to impose ourselves on the game for 80 minutes," he added.
France will host Argentina, who they themselves lost heavily to a few months back. Theyre brought back their top players for the game though, making 14 changes from the side that beat Fiji. Sebastien Chabal will start at number eight for France for the first time since 2008.
"We want to see Sebastien start in this position. We already thought about it last year for a match against New Zealand when we wanted a more dynamic back row," Marc Lievremont said.