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RWC 2015 Preview: France v Canada

rwc2015It hasn’t been pretty but France, as expected, are heading towards that pool-deciding meeting with Ireland.
First though they must battle past Canada.

POOL D – Match #22 – France v Canada
Overall Stats France vs Overall Stats Canada
Average Score :   France 34.28 vs 12.63 Canada
Games Played 8 Games Played 8
*Games Won 7 *Games Won 1
*Games Lost 1 *Games Lost 7
Games Drawn 0 Games Drawn 0
*Longest.Winning.Streak 6 *Longest.Winning.Streak 1
*Longest Losing Streak 1 *Longest Losing Streak 6
*Largest Points For 50 *Largest Points For 20
*Largest Points Against 20 *Largest Points Against 50
*Largest.Winning.Margin 44 *Largest.Winning.Margin 2
*Largest Losing Margin -2 *Largest Losing Margin -44
*Total Points For 274 *Total Points For 101
*Avg Points For 34.28 *Avg Points For 12.63
*Total Points Against 101 *Total Points Against 274
*Avg Points Against 12.63 *Avg Points Against 34.25
*Total Points Difference 173 *Total Points Difference -173
*Avg Points Difference 21.63 *Avg Points Difference -21.63
* = By France * = By Canada
Past Meetings
18-Sep-11 France 46 19 Canada Napier, New Zealand
12-Nov-05 France 50 6 Canada Nantes, France
10-Jul-04 Canada 13 47 France Toronto, Canada
23-Nov-02 France 35 3 Canada Paris, France
2-Oct-99 France 33 20 Canada Beziers, France
17-Dec-94 France 28 9 Canada Besancon, France
4-Jun-94 Canada 18 16 France Nepean, Canada
13-Oct-91 France 19 13 Canada Agen, France

POSSIBLE RR World Rankings outcome on Result

FRA (on 81.10 points) at home -vs- CAN (on 63.66 points) in a RWC match

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will CAN
overtake FRA?
If FRA win by 1-15 points 0.000 81.10 63.66 No
If FRA win by more than 15 0.000 81.10 63.66 No
If result is a draw 2.000 79.10 65.66 No
If CAN win by 1-15 points 4.000 77.10 67.66 No
If CAN win by more than 15 6.000 75.10 69.66 No

Milton Keynes will be the setting for both teams’ third game at this Rugby World Cup before les Bleus reach Cardiff for that key game against Joe Schmidt’s men.

Like Ireland, the French have been building with one eye on the Millennium Stadium showdown, rotating their squad in preparation to hit the ground at full pace on Sunday, October 11. Of course Sergio Parisse’s Italy might have something to say about both sides being unbeaten when they play that game.

Those tweaks in personnel on a weekly basis have led to Thierry Dusautoir, Frederic Michalak, Mathieu Bastareaud and several others coming back into Thursday’s line-up while Louis Picamoles and Noa Nakaitaci are given a well-earned break, as they were two players to start both their opening matches.

Michalak alongside Sebastien Tillous-Borde seems to be the first-choice half-back pairing while one would expect Picamoles, Nakaitaci and possibly Sofiane Guitoune to return for the key games alongside this week’s starters Wesley Fofana, Bastareaud and Scott Spedding.

As it has for the majority of Philippe Saint André’s tenure in the international hot-seat, the foundations laid by the forwards have been the first thought and in props Eddy Ben Arous and Rabah Slimani and hooker Guilhem Guirado they have real steel in that area. Strong back-up options of Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas and Benjamin Kayser make many a rival nation jealous so, like it or not, they are well stocked to launch a Rugby World Cup title bid built on those foundations.

Canada will hope to keep them moving and avoid a set-piece battle, as they have shown particularly at the line-out where they do not compete on opposition ball due to their size. It truly is going to be a match of contrasting styles as the Canadian backline looks to surprise the French and cause what would be a huge shock before taking on Romania in Leicester.

Losing centre Connor Braid to injury is a setback while Jeff Hassler misses out for the second successive pool game due to injury, with DTH van der Merwe playing out of his skin in his wing partner’s absence. Once again his performance will be crucial to Canada’s hopes as they look to back up the positives from their impressive performance against Italy at Elland Road, which was a Rugby World Cup match they possibly should have won given how they dominated the statistics.

While they won’t go down without trying, beating France is surely out of the question though as a quick turnaround makes it that much tougher for the underdog this Thursday. For a freshened France, it’s now time to go up a gear before the big one.

The teams:

  • France: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Rémy Grosso, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
    Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin.
  • Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Phil Mackenzie, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Nathan Hirayama, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron (c), 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Brett Beukeboom, 3 Doug Wooldridge, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 1 Hubert Buydens.
    Replacements: 16 Ray Barkwill, 17 Djustice Sears-Duru, 18 Andrew Tiedemann, 19 Evan Olmstead, 20 Nanyak Dala, 21 Gordon McRorie, 22 Harry Jones, 23 Conor Trainor.
  • Date: Thursday, October 1
  • Venue: Stadium MK, Milton Keynes
  • Kick-off: 20:00 local
  • Referee: JP Doyle (England)
  • Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Angus Gardner (Australia)
  • TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

  • Full Pool Previews – Click Individual Pool Below





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