Twickenham Stoop - Wednesday 16 November 2016
KO: 14:30 HT: 3-26
HARLEQUINS: 15 Ruaridh Jackson 14 Sam Aspland-Robinson 13 Gabriel Ibitoye 12 Henry Cheeseman 11 Jonas Mikalcius 10 Tim Swiel 9 Luc Jones 8 George Naoupu 7 Archie White 6 Dan Leo (Guest) 5 Stan South 4 Mark Reddish 3 ADAM JONES (C) 2 Joe Gray 1 Dan Murphy BENCH: 16 Charlie Piper 17 Owen Evans 18 Matt Shields 19 Bill Harding (Guest) 20 Alex Bradley (Guest) 21 Josh Davies (Guest) 22 Luke Peters (Guest) 23 Alofa Alofa
SCORERS T: Murphy C: Swiel P: Swiel
MAORIS: 15 James Lowe 14 Ambrose Curtis 13 Matt Proctor 12 Tim Bateman/Jason Emery 11 Sean Wainui 10 Ihaia West 9 Brad Weber 8 Akira Ioane 7 Shane Christie 6 Whetu Douglas 5 Tom Franklin 4 Leighton Price 3 Ben May 2 ASH DIXON (C) 1 Kane Hames BENCH: 16 Joe Royal 17 Chris Eves 18 Marcel Renata 19 Jacob Skeen 20 Reed Prinsep 21 Billy Guyton 22 Otere Black 23 Jason Emery/Marty McKenzie
SCORERS T: Lowe (2), Christie, Wainui C: West (3) Eves
Twickenham - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 14:30 HT: 34-10 Att: 81,409
HOW IT HAPPENED MINUTE BY MINUTE…
England v Fiji It's anthem time at HQ already...but the sun's gone into hiding! Was glorious this morning...
England vs Fiji Fiji perform a crisp Cibi before KO; Marius Mitrea has the whistle today
England 0-0 Fiji 1m We have KO at Twickers & England have the 1st scrum in their navy blue away kit
England 0-0 Fiji 3m England quickly into the Fijian 22 & the visitors are having difficulty holding them back
England 5-0 Fiji 4m Some lovely hands from England & excellent teamwork allows JJ to slip thru to score
England 7-0 Fiji 6m Owen Farrell kicks over his 499th point to get the conversion
England 7-0 Fiji 7m Fiji reply by steadily creeping up to England's 22, taking the game to the homeside...
England 7-0 Fiji 8m ...but play goes England's way & a long kick goes straight to Rocco over halfway & they're off...
England 12-0 Fiji 9m More fantastic work from the homeside & Elliot Daly takes a floating pass to score
England 14-0 Fiji 10m Faz whacks over another conversion...
England 14-0 Fiji 13m Before you can blink, England on rampage again, Mako Vunipola thinking he's a winger!
England 19-0 Fiji 14m Mako aids 3rd try as Rocco flies over in the corner to score, unstoppable! Faz misses tho
England 19-0 Fiji 16m Meanwhile, Peni Ravai has replaced Campese Ma'afu - blood injury
England 19-0 Fiji 17m Another penalty for England & ball's cleared back into Fiji 22 from over halfway
England 19-0 Fiji 18m England are almost over for a fourth already and a brace from Daly but he can't ground it
England 24-0 Fiji 20m Clockwork lineout from England & they drive over for the fourth try from Teimana Harrison
England 24-0 Fiji 21m However, by his own standards, Faz is having a rotten day, missing another conversion
England 24-0 Fiji 23m No time to take a rest as England are centimetres from the tryline again...
England 24-0 Fiji 25m Fiji clear England back but their lineout goes horribly wrong & it's England's attacking scrum
England 29-0 Fiji 27m From a standing start, England attack fiercely again & Joe Launchbury bags No.#5
England 31-0 Fiji 28m Faz returns to form for the conversion...
England 31-0 Fiji 30m Huzzah! Fiji are just 4m short of England's tryline & have the scrum...
England 31-0 Fiji 31m From far touch, Fiji work the width of the pitch then across back to Nemani Nadolo...
England 31-5 Fiji 32m Nadolo swats Rocco away & slams down Fiji's first try in the corner
England 31-5 Fiji 33m But Nadolo misses the conversion by a way
England 31-5 Fiji 35m However, England are fast back deep in Fijian territory
England 34-5 Fiji 37m Fiji hand over a penalty for offside & Faz adds another 3
England 34-5 Fiji 39m But the visitors come back hard and hang out in the England 22, causing a nuisance
England 34-10 Fiji 40m And it's Leone Nakarawa who finds the tryline for a 2nd deserved try for Fiji
England 34-10 Fiji 40+1m But Nadolo's conversion hits the near upright & bounces away
England 34-10 Fiji HT T: Joseph, Daly, Rokoduguni, Harrison, Launchbury C: Farrell (3) P: Farrell | T: Nadolo, Nakarawa
England 34-10 Fiji 41m Play resumes at Twickenham, & Fiji are in possession & just inside England territory
England 34-10 Fiji 42m England dish out a penalty & Fiji save their lineout in the 22 & attack...
England 34-10 Fiji 43m England defence is poor, Faz gets knocked over like weeble by Metuisela Talebula...
England 34-15 Fiji 44m And Talebula scores a third for Fiji! But Nadolo misses conversion again
England 34-15 Fiji 46m Dylan leads the drive for England in reply & touches down over the tryline, but off to TMO
England 34-15 Fiji 47m TMO Gareth Simmonds confirms Mako unbound & caused obstruction; no try
England 34-15 Fiji 49m England go again & Rocco breaks & comes up way short; should've offloaded earlier...
England 39-15 Fiji 50m Mako makes the pass Rocco should've to Alex Goode who flies over for the 6th
England 41-15 Fiji 51m Faz converts while Nathan Hughes replaces Harrison, & Joe Marler for Mako
England 41-15 Fiji 52m Jamie George, Ben Te'o & Danny Care for Hartley, Farrell & Youngs
England 41-15 Fiji 53m Nikola Matawalu & Tuapati Talemaitoga for Vularika & Vuli
England 46-15 Fiji 55m While Nemia Soqeta replaces Ratuniyarawa, JJ sprints over the tryline for a brace
England 48-15 Fiji 56m George Ford converts
England 48-15 Fiji 58m Meanwhile in Florence, Italy beat the Springboks!!!
England 48-15 Fiji 60m Daly almost secures a brace, but his foots in touch & it's another no try - rightly so
England 48-15 Fiji 63m England waste no time in attacking again, & tho they're scoring, not looking fantastic
England 53-15 Fiji 64m But Rocco is not happy with just one try, and goes over for a brace
England 53-15 Fiji 66m However, Ford misses the conversion
England 53-15 Fiji 68m Meanwhile, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels (on debut) & Henry Slade for Cole, Lawes & JJ
England 53-15 Fiji 69m Also, Dawai, Murimurivalu & Atalifo for Qera, Masilevu & Saulo
England 58-15 Fiji 70m It's another brace for England, a ninth try & it's Launchbury again
England 58-15 Fiji 71m Ford, however, again misses the conversion.
England 58-15 Fiji 74m Fiji are finally back deep in the England 22 but can't find the whitewash
England 58-15 Fiji 75m But they secure a penalty & have an attacking 5m scrum
England 58-15 Fiji 77m Fiji hold the scrum but are being pushed back in the wrong direction, now outside the 22
England 58-15 Fiji 78m England fight back & shoot over the halfway & Goode chips ahead but Fiji save it over tryline
England 58-15 Fiji 79m Fiji win scrum 4m from their tryline & Nadolo belts ball over halfway into England 22...
England 58-15 Fiji 79m ...Goode collects & begins the charge back; Fiji lineout just inside the England 10m
England 58-15 Fiji 80m Neither side is going to gain anymore points & Slade kicks it into touch for FT
15 Alex Goode 14 Semesa Rokoduguni 13 Jonathan Joseph 12 Owen Farrell 11 Elliot Daly 10 George Ford 9 Ben Youngs 1 Mako Vunipola 2 DYLAN HARTLEY (C) 3 Dan Cole 4 Joe Launchbury 5 Courtney Lawes 6 Chris Robshaw 7 Teimana Harrison 8 Billy Vunipola BENCH: 16 Jamie George 17 Joe Marler 18 Kyle Sinckler 19 Charlie Ewels* 20 Nathan Hughes 21 Danny Care 22 Ben Te’o 23 Henry Slade
SCORERS T: Joseph (2), Daly, Rokoduguni (2), Harrison, Launchbury (2), Goode C: Farrell (4), Ford P: Farrell
15 Metuisela Talebula 14 Benito Masilevu 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma 12 Albert Vulivuli 11 Nemani Nadolo 10 Josh Matavesi 9 Seru Vularika 1 Campese Ma'afu 2 Sunia Koto Vuli 3 Manaia Saulo 4 Apisalome Ratuniyarawa 5 Leone Nakarawa 6 Dominiko Waqaniburotu 7 Peceli Yato 8 AKAPUSI QERA (C) BENCH: 16 Tuapati Talemaitoga 17 Peni Ravai 18 Leeroy Atalifo 19 Nemia Soqeta 20 Naulia Dawai 21 Eremasi Radrodro 22 Nikola Matawalu 23 Kini Murimurivalu
SCORERS T: Nadolo, Nakarawa, Talebula
Referee: Marius Mitrea Asst Referees: Paul Williams, Lloyd Linton TMO: Gareth Simmonds
Principality Stadium - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 14:30 HT: 14-13 Att: 73,969
SAM DAVIES became an instant Welsh hero in only his second international appearance as he dropped a goal with a mere six seconds left to play to earn a 33-30 victory against Japan. Davies came on in the 67th minute and did what he has been doing all season with the Ospreys and used his golden boot to good effect, slotting the match winning drop goal when his team needed to save face at home against a thoroughly committed Japanese side.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked 15 points and there was a first try for his country from back row man Dan Lydiate seven years on from his debut. But the game ended three tries apiece in front of a crowd of 73,969.
Japan started well, very well and were six points ahead within the first nine minutes. Outside half Yu Tamura kicked a simple penalty in the fifth minute and then punished Liam Williams for a cynical piece of play that led to him getting a yellow card a few minutes later from South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen, blocking Akihito Yamada. Tamura added further punishment with his second penalty to make it 6-0.
The first Welsh points then came via an unusual source as the Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate picked up his first Test try in his 59th appearance. A well weighted pass from Gareth Anscombe, making his first start for Wales at No 10, created the space for Lydiate to use his power on the right wing to cross from five metres out. Halfpenny added the extras and then weaved his way into the Japanese 22 as Wales began to build attack after attack.
A second try soon came when Jonathan Davies blasted his way up to with a few metres and then offloaded off the floor to his centre partner Jamie Roberts. Nobody was going to stop the Harlequins star from there and he crossed for his 12th Welsh try. Halfpenny once again added the extras and Wales were in command half way through the first period, 14-6.
Some over ambitious offloading by the home side then opened up the door for the Japanese to come rushing back into the contest with a 40 metre breakaway try by the fleet-footed Yamada. It was the tight head prop Samson Lee who attempted the first miracle pass and then Anscombe tried to find Cuthbert with another, equally rash, pass. The ball went to ground, Yamada took his opportunity raced off for his 14th try in 17 Tests. Amanaki Lotoahea, who was on as a blood replacement for Tamura, slotted the conversion and the gap was only a single point at half-time14-13.
The Welsh lead was increased within a few minutes of the re-start when Halfpenny banged over a simple penalty. Alun Wyn Jones created the third try galloping into the Japanese 22 and his pop-up ball for Sam Warburton, in close support, crossed at the posts for a score that Halfpenny had no problems in converting.
Back came Japan with the best try of the game from left wing Kenki Fukuoka in the corner after some wonderful passing under pressure between backs and forwards. Tamura may have taken his time over the touchline conversion, but the outside half nailed it to make it a one score game again on 55 minutes.
The Welsh lead rose to seven with another Halfpenny penalty, but Tamura ensured it did not stay that way with another penalty of his own. The Japanese outside half pushed another kick wide of the mark that would have made it a one-point game again. Halfpenny slotted a 70th minute to take Wales to 30 points, but Japan had one final flourish.
Some brilliant play from No 8 Amanaki Mafi with an overhead pass inside to Lotoahea allowed the replacement centre to race into the home 22, step inside Liam Williams and cross for another stunning try. Tamura stepped up to take the conversion and his wide-angled kick levelled the scores at 30-30 with five minutes left to play.
A perfectly executed kick by Sam Davies, on for Anscombe, gave Cuthbert the chance to chase and it looked as though he had picked the ball up off his toes and crossed the line to score, but the ball got trapped in his legs and there was no score. Instead, Wales had to wait for Sam Davies to drop a match winning goal with six seconds left to play on the clock. That saved Welsh blushes and robbed the Japanese of a share of the spoils.
15 Liam Williams 14 Leigh Halfpenny 13 Jonathan Davies 12 Jamie Roberts 11 Alex Cuthbert 10 Gareth Anscombe 9 Lloyd Williams 1 Nicky Smith 2 Scott Baldwin 3 Samson Lee 4 Cory Hill 5 Alun Wyn Jones 6 Dan Lydiate 7 SAM WARBURTON (C) 8 James King BENCH: 16 Kristian Dacey 17 Rhys Gill 18 Scott Andrews 19 Jake Ball 20 Ross Moriarty 21 Gareth Davies 22 Sam Davies 23 Keelan Giles*
SCORERS T: Lydiate, Roberts, Warburton C: Halfpenny (3) P: Halfpenny (3) DG: Sam Davies Liam Williams
15 Kotaro Matsushima 14 Akihito Yamada 13 Timothy Lafaele 12 Harumichi Tatekawa 11 Kenki Fukuoka 10 Yu Tamura 9 Fumiaki Tanaka 1 Satoshi Nakatani 2 Shota Horie 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama 4 Kyosuke Kajikawa 5 Samuela Anise 6 Malgene Ilaua 7 Shunsuke Nunomaki 8 Amanaki Mafi BENCH: 16 Takeshi Hino 17 Koki Yamamoto 18 Heiichiro Ito 19 Uwe Helu 20 Shuhei Matsuhashi 21 Yuhimaru Mimura 22 Keisuke Uchida 23 Amanaki Lotoahea
SCORERS T: Yamada, Fukuoka, Lotoahea C: Lotoahea, Tamura (2) P: Tamura (3)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen Asst Referees: John Lacey, Craig Maxwell-Keys TMO: Eric Gauzins
Mikheil Mekshi Stadium, Tbilisi - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 17-10 Att: tbc
15 Merab Kvirikashvili 14 Tamaz Mtchedlidze 13 Giorgi Koshadze 12 Merab Sharikadze 11 Sandro Todua 10 Lasha Malaghuradze 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze 1 Mikheil Nariashvili 2 Jaba Bregvadze 3 Levan Chilachava 4 Kote Mikautadze 5 Giorgi Nemsadze 6 Vito Kolelishvili 7 MAMUKA GORGODZE (C) 8 Beka Bitsadze BENCH: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili 17 Kakha Asieshvili 18 Dudu Kubriashvili 19 Shalva Sutiashvili 20 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili 21 Giorgi Begadze 22 Revaz Jintchvelashvili 23 Giorgi Aptsiauri
SCORERS T: PT, Bitsadze C: Kvirikashvili (2) P: Kvirikashvili (2)
15 Albert Nikori 14 Paul Perez 13 George Pisi 12 Rey Lee-Lo 11 DAVID LEMI (C) 10 Patrick Faapale 9 Kahn Fotuali'i 1 Logovi'i Mulipola 2 Manu Leaiataua 3 Anthony Perenise 4 Jeff Lepa 5 Filo Paulo 6 Jack Lam 7 Gregory Foe 8 Alafoti Faosiliva BENCH: 16 Elia Elia 17 Hisa Sasagi 18 Nephi Leatigaga 19 Talaga Alofipo 20 Genesis Mamea-Lemalu 21 Oneone Faafou 22 Pele Cowley 23 D'Angelo Leuila
SCORERS T: George Pisi C: Fa’apale P: Fa’apale (3)
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz Asst Referees: JP Doyle, Tom Foley TMO: Brian MacNiece
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 15:00 HT: 10-12 Att: tbc
15 Edoardo Padovani 14 Giulio Bisegni 13 Tommaso Benvenuti 12 Luke Mclean 11 Giovanbattista Venditti 10 Carlo Canna 9 Giorgio Bronzini 1 Sami Panico 2 Ornel Gega 3 Lorenzo Cittadini 4 Marco Fuser 5 Andries Van Schalkwyk 6 Francesco Minto 7 Simone Favaro 8 SERGIO PARISSE (C) BENCH: 16 Tommaso D’Apice 17 Nicola Quaglio* 18 Simone Ferrari* 19 George Fabio Biagi 20 Abraham Steyn 21 Edoardo Gori 22 Tommaso Allan 23 Tommaso Boni
SCORERS T: van Schalkwyk, Venditti C: Canna (2) P: Padovani, Canna Fuser
15 Willie le Roux 14 Ruan Combrinck 13 Francois Venter 12 Damian de Allende 11 Bryan Habana 10 Pat Lambie 9 Rudy Paige 1 Tendai Mtawarira 2 ADRIAAN STRAUSS (C) 3 Vincent Koch 4 Pieter-Steph du Toit 5 Lood de Jager6 Nizaam Carr 7 Willem Alberts 8 Warren Whiteley BENCH: 16 Bongi Mbonambi 17 Steven Kitshoff 18 Trevor Nyakane 19 Franco Mostert 20 Teboho Mohojé 21 Faf de Klerk 22 Elton Jantjies 23 Johan Goosen
SCORERS T: Habana, de Allende C: Lambie, P: Lambie, Jantjies
Referee: George Clancy Asst Referees: Nigel Owens, David Wilkinson TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon
BT Murrayfield Stadium - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 17:00 HT: 6-3 Att: tbc
15 Stuart Hogg 14 Sean Maitland 13 Huw Jones 12 Alex Dunbar 11 Tommy Seymour 10 Finn Russell 9 GREIG LAIDLAW (C) 1 Allan Dell 2 Fraser Brown 3 Zander Fagerson 4 Grant Gilchrist 5 Jonny Gray 6 Magnus Bradbury* 7 Hamish Watson 8 John Barclay BENCH: 16 Ross Ford 17 Alex Allan 18 Moray Low 19 Tim Swinson 20 Ryan Wilson 21 Ali Price* 22 Pete Horne 23 Tim Visser
SCORERS T: Maitland C: Laidlaw P: Laidlaw (4)
15 Joaquín Tuculet 14 Matías Moroni 13 Matías Orlando 12 Juan Martín Hernández 11 Santiago Cordero 10 Nicolás Sánchez 9 Martín Landajo 1 Lucas Noguera 2 AGUSTÍN CREEVY (C) 3 Ramiro Herrera 4 Guido Petti 5 Matías Alemanno 6 Pablo Matera 7 Javier Ortega Desio 8 Facundo Isa BENCH: 16 Julián Montoya 17 Santiago García Botta 18 Enrique Pieretto 19 Leonardo Senatore 20 Juan Manuel Leguizamón 21 Tomás Cubelli 22 Jerónimo De la Fuente 23 Juan Pablo Estelles
SCORERS T: Orlando C: Sanchez P: Sanchez (3)
Referee: Ben O'Keeffe Asst Referees: Jérôme Garcès, Thomas Charabas TMO: Sean Davey
Anoeta Stadium, San Sebastián - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 17:00 HT: 14-10 Att: tbc
15 Telusa Veainu 14 Nafi Tu'itavake 13 SIALE PIUTAU (C) 12 Latiume Fosita 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo 10 Kali Hala 9 Sonatane Takulua 1 Tevita Mailau 2 Paula Ngauamo 3 Siua Halanukonuka 4 Steve Mafi 5 Joe Tu'ineau 6 Dan Faleafa 7 Jack Ram 8 Tevita Koloamatangi BENCH: 16 Elvis Taione 17 Paea Fa'anunu 18 Sila Puafisi 19 Valentino Mapapalangi 20 Kotoni Ale 21 Tomasi Palu 22 Tevita Taufui 23 David Halaifonua
SCORERS T: Veainu, Vainikolo C: Takulua (2) P: Takulua (2) Puafisi
15 Madison Hughes 14 BLAINE SCULLY (C) 13 Thretton Palamo 12 Marcel Brache 11 Martin Iosefo 10 Will Holder 9 Nate Augspurger 1 Joe Taufete'e 2 James Hilterbrand 3 Chris Baumann 4 Cameron Dolan 5 Nick Civetta 6 Samu Manoa 7 Tony Lamborn 8 Andrew Durutalo BENCH: 16 Pat Blair 17 Angus MacLellan 18 Dino Waldren 19 Al McFarland 20 Langilangi Haupeakui 21 Mike Te'o 22 JP Eloff 23 Bryce Campbell
SCORERS T: Iosefo, Taufete'e C: Holder (2) P: Holder
Referee: Nick Briant Asst Referees: Alhambra Nievas, Inigo Atorrasagasti TMO: Carlo Damasco
Aviva Stadium - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 17:30 HT: 6 - 14 Att: tbc
15 Rob Kearney 14 Andrew Trimble 13 Jared Payne 12 Robbie Henshaw 11 Simon Zebo 10 Johnny Sexton 9 Conor Murray 1 Jack McGrath 2 RORY BEST (C) 3 Tadhg Furlong 4 Donnacha Ryan 5 Devin Toner 6 CJ Stander 7 Sean O'Brien 8 Jamie Heaslip BENCH: 16 Sean Cronin 17 Cian Healy 18 Finlay Bealham 19 Iain Henderson 20 Josh van der Flier 21 Kieran Marmion 22 Paddy Jackson 23 Garry Ringrose
SCORERS P: Sexton, Jackson (2)
15 Ben Smith 14 Israel Dagg 13 Malakai Fekitoa 12 Anton Lienert-Brown 11 Julian Savea 10 Beauden Barrett 9 Aaron Smith 1 Joe Moody 2 Dane Coles 3 Owen Franks 4 Brodie Retallick 5 Samuel Whitelock 6 Liam Squire 7 Sam Cane 8 KIERAN READ (C) BENCH: 16 Codie Taylor 17 Wyatt Crockett 18 Charlie Faumuina 19 Scott Barrett 20 Ardie Savea 21 TJ Perenara 22 Aaron Cruden 23 Waisake Naholo
SCORERS T: Fekitoa (2), Beauden Barrett (3) C: Beauden Barrett (2) Aaron Smith, Fekitoa
Referee: Jaco Peyper Asst Referees: Mathieu Raynal, Ian Davies TMO: Jon Mason
Stadionul Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 18:00 HT: 18-6 Att: tbc
15 Catalin Fercu 14 Fonovai Tangimana 13 Jack Umaga 12 Vladut Popa 11 Ionuț Dumitru 10 Florin Vlaicu 9 Florin Surugiu 1 Mihai Lazăr 2 Eugen Capatana 3 Alexandru Tarus 4 Johannes Van Heerden 5 Marius Antonescu 6 Viorel Lucaci 7 STELIAN BURCEA (C) 8 Andrei Gorcioaia BENCH: 16 Andrei Radoi 17 Ionel Badiu 18 Alexandru Gordas 19 Valentin Poparlan 20 Cristian Chirica 21 Valentin Calafeteanu 22 Nicolas Onutu 23 Stephen Shennan
SCORERS T: Vlaicu, Dumitru C: Vlaicu P: Vlaicu
15 Matt Evans 14 DTH VAN DER MERWE (C) 13 Conor Trainor 12 Ben LeSage 11 Taylor Paris 9 Gordon McRorie 10 Connor Braid 1 Djustice Sears-Duru 2 Ray Barkwill 3 Jake Ilnicki 4 Brett Beukeboom 5 Evan Olmstead 6 Kyle Baillie 7 Matt Heaton 8 Admir Cejvanovic BENCH: 16 Eric Howard 17 Rob Brouwer 18 Ryan Kotlewski 19 Conor Keys 20 Clay Panga 21 Phil Mack 22 Patrick Parfrey 23 Ciaran Hearn
SCORERS T: Mack C: Braid P: McRorie (3)
Referee: Shuhei Kubo Asst Referees: Luke Pearce, Gary Conway TMO: Stefano Penne
Stade de France - Saturday 19 November 2016
KO: 21:00 HT: 11-13 Att: tbc
THE Wallabies showed their mettle to overcome a spirited French outfit 25-23 in a nail-biting match at Stade de France. David Pocock, leading the Wallabies as captain for the first time since 2012, was instrumental in the victory forcing crucial turnovers and halting the French attack with his brick-wall defence.
The Wallabies won 12 turnovers compared to France's six, outshining the French in their commitment for the ball. The French however won the offloads tally, racking up 26, as their adventurous backline showed lightning pace and flair to slice through the Wallabies defence on several occasions.
In a packed Stade de France, a breakdown penalty against the Wallabies opened the door for Les Bleus to put the first points on the board with Maxime Machenaud slotting a penalty in the sixth minute. With the early lead, the momentum swung in France’s favour as they continued to pile pressure on Australia’s defence. Their reward came in the 16th minute when Fijian-born flyer Virimi Vakatawa charged over the line for the first try after an impressive phase of attack where multiple French offloads kept the Wallabies defence scrambling.
The Wallabies responded quickly by forcing a penalty, allowing Bernard Foley to put three points on the board for the Australians. Minutes later, with pressure mounting on the French following a solid Australian lineout and drive from Tolu Latu, Australia’s maul loomed dangerously close to the try line with all signs indicating an imminent five points. When the maul was collapsed, New Zealand referee Glen Jackson awarded a penalty try to Australia and sent Charles Ollivon off with a yellow card for his involvement.
Another three points from Bernard Foley added to Australia’s tally in the 37th minute after Remi Lamerat was penalised for holding on, but a post-siren penalty to France off the back of a collapsed scrum in front of the posts saw the gap reduced to two points, leaving the Wallabies to head to the change rooms with a tenuous 13-11 lead.
Australia charged back onto the field after the break, with some hard running from Foley, Pocock, Simmons and Genia putting early pressure on Les Bleus. Some committed phase-work with the forwards drawing in the defence saw a short pass from Will Genia find Bernard Foley which allowed him to dart over the line in the 43rd minute to firmly stamp the Wallabies' intentions for the second half.
As France tried to shift the momentum of the game, their relief came from a scintillating backline try, with Spedding searing down the left touchline before Fofana and Vakatawa took inside balls and then popped it to Jean-Marc Doussain who tumbled over the line to make the score 16-20.
Australia responded swiftly with Sean McMahon and Will Genia aggressively running deep into the French half, allowing the ball to be spread wide to Tevita Kuridrani on the wing who, with minimal space, showed incredible skill to ground the ball in the corner while his outstretched body remained in the air, millimetres away from touch.
However France struck again in the 65th minute, with Wesley Fofana finding easy space to pin down a five-pointer under the posts, after some hard-running groundwork from Spedding and Vakatawa.
With the score locked at 25-23, Les Bleus kept the French fans in Stade de France roaring as they pushed towards the line, only to be met with a solid wall of gold defenders led by captain David Pocock. With the siren already rung, the French rallied to set themselves up for a drop-goal in the 80th minute only for it to drift outwards to the left.
15 Scott Spedding 14 Noa Nakaitaci 13 Remi Lamerat 12 Wesley Fofana 11 Virimi Vakatawa 10 Jean-Marc Doussain 9 Maxime Machenaud 1 Cyril Baille 2 GUILHEM GUIRADO (C) 3 Uini Atonio 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina 5 Yoann Maestri 6 Charles Ollivon 7 Kevin Gourdon 8 Louis Picamoles BENCH: 16 Camille Chat 17 Xavier Chiocci 18 Rabah Slimani 19 Julien le Devedec 20 Damien Chouly 21 Baptiste Serin 22 Camille Lopez 23 Gaël Fickou
SCORERS T: Vakatawa, Doussain, Fofana C: Machenaud P: Machenaud (2) Ollivon
15 Luke Morahan 14 Sefanaia Naivalu 13 Tevita Kuridrani 12 Kyle Godwin* 11 Henry Speight 10 Quade Cooper 9 Will Genia 1 James Slipper 2 Tolu Latu 3 Allan Alaalatoa 4 Kane Douglas 5 Rob Simmons 6 Scott Fardy 7 DAVID POCOCK (C) 8 Sean McMahon BENCH: 16 Stephen Moore 17 Scott Sio 18 Tom Robertson 19 Will Skelton 20 Dean Mumm 21 Nick Phipps 22 Bernard Foley 23 Taqele Naiyaravoro
SCORERS T: PT, Foley, Kuridrani C: Foley (2) P: Foley (2)
Referee: Glen Jackson Asst Referees: Wayne Barnes, Greg Garner TMO: Graham Hughes
NB KO times above are local; for KO times across the globe, + Tier 2 match fixtures and results, click here: