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Les Blues trounce Flying Fijians in Nantes

The Flying Fijians were asked numerous questions ahead of the Rugby World Cup as France outclassed them 34-17 at Stade de la Beaujoire today.

Discipline was an enemy for the islanders as numerous penalties derailed momentum.

France drew first blood after early penalties had fullback Melvyn Jaminet adding a number of penalties to put them in front by nine points in under 10 minutes.

Fiji openside flanker Levani Botia won the side a turnover and with it a penalty.

Fly-half Caleb Muntz settled the side with a 40 metre penalty in the 18th minute to put them finally on the board.

Broken play and an empty backfield allowed France to score the first try of the game with movement to the edge and back finding an overlapping hooker Peato Mauvaka to score with the conversion added from Jaminet.

Fiji scored a try soon after when a clean break from Muntz and the following pick and drive had hooker Tevita Ikanivere over to touch down with Muntz also adding the conversion in the 32nd minute.

Both sides held their line well as half-time approached, but the Bleus scored again through a forward’s shift, with New Zealand born prop and Samoan Uini Atonio crashing over to score although Jaminet was unable to convert to send them to a 21-10 breather.

France continued where they left off in the first half and after Fiji conceded another penalty, Jaminet successfully kicked and converted in the 41st minute.

Fiji looked to pick up the tempo and again after hard work from the forwards up to the five metre had skipper Semi Radradra crash over to score with Muntz adding two points in the 51st minutes.

After winning a line-out, a lazy pass from halfback Frank Lomani was read perfectly and intercepted by reserve backrower Secou Macalou to race away untouched for a 50 metre soft try with Jaminet adding the conversion in the 59th minute to give them a 14-point buffer.

The French did well to deny their visitors any chance in open space knowing the capabilities of the Fijians.

Forced to defend for most of the match, fatigue visibly began to show for Fiji.

The midfield pair of Radradra and outside centre Iosefo Masi was well shadowed and closed down time and time again at the earliest opportunity.

Fiji’s offensive sets were also on a number of occasions closed down with the French proving more powerful at the breakdown.

Jaminet added his fifth penalty of the night in the 70th minute to keep the score board ticking.

Multiple phases from Fiji went all to naught as the staunch blue line refused to give an inch.

France held on to win 34-17.

The teams:

France: 15 Melvyn Jaminet, 14 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 13 Jonathan Danty, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Yoram Moefana, 10 Antoine Hastoy, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Gregory Alldritt (captain), 7 Dylan Cretin, 6Francois Cros; 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1Reda Wardi.

Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Thomas Laclayat, 19 Bastien Chalureau, 20 Thibaud Flament, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Matthieu Jalibert.

Fiji: 15 Sireli Maqala, 14 Jiuta Wainiqolo, 13 Iosefo Masi, 12 Semi Radradra (captain), 11 Vinaya Habosi, 10 Caleb Muntz, 9 Frank Lomani, 8 Levani Botia, 7 Viliame Mata, 6 Meli Derenalagi, 5 Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, 4 Isoa Nasilasila,3 Mesake Doge, 2 Tevita Ikanivere, 1 Eroni Mawi.

Replacements: 16 Sam Matavesi, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Luke Tagi, 19 Temo Mayanavanua, 20 Albert Tuisue, 21 Simi Kuruvoli.

Noa Biudole
Noa Biudole
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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