Three tries in the final 14 minutes give Jacques Brunel’s side five precious points.
FUKUOKA, 1 Oct – USA bounced back from defeat by England to push France hard in Fukuoka, but Jacques Brunel’s side found their attacking verve late on to score five tries in a 33-9 win in Pool C.
After their ‘calamity in Kobe’, the last thing USA needed was to fall behind after five minutes. Rain had arrived in Fukuoka just before kick-off, but it was a brief shower and did not inhibit some fine French handling en route to Yoann Huget’s opening try.
Full-back Thomas Ramos began the move in his own 22 and the USA defence had never properly reset when Player of the Match Camille Lopez chipped a kick over the defensive line and Huget gathered to score. Ramos kicked a simple conversion.
If the Americans were deflated, it did not show and they enjoyed three prolonged spells of pressure on the French line before half-time. France were perhaps fortunate not to go down to 14 men after a series of try-line infringements. However, all the USA had to show for their pressure was two penalties from AJ MacGinty, both for offside.
In between, France scored a superb second try. From an inch-perfect kick by Lopez to the right wing, Alivereti Raka, pictured, caught and touched down in one fluid movement. It was the 24-year-old’s second try in just his third international and France led 12-6 at the break.
France changed their front row at half-time, no doubt to try to reduce the penalty count, and both teams had a swirling wind and dark clouds to contend with.
After an absorbing 10 minutes, Sofiane Guitoune surged from his own half to within 15 metres of the USA line. The centre had options, but probably took the wrong one with an attempted 30-metre pass to Raka. Although he found his man, the pass had drifted forward.
MacGinty’s probing kicks kept USA on the front foot often enough to worry France, and when he kicked another penalty there were just three points in it with 15 minutes left.
However, American hopes were effectively snuffed out two minutes later when Gael Fickou rounded off one of France’s best moves with a feint and a score.
Two minutes later, replacement scrum-half Baptiste Serin scored their fourth and suddenly the gap was 17 points – and France had their bonus point.
Jefferson Poirot’s late try from a driving maul put an added gloss on the score for France.
Match Report to Follow:
Rugby World Cup Pool C
Match #19 – FULL TIME
FRANCE 🇫🇷 3️⃣3️⃣ vs 0️⃣9️⃣ 🇺🇸 UNITED STATES
🇫🇷 FRANCE – 3️⃣3️⃣
Tries: Yoann Huget (5′),Alivereti Raka (23′),Gael Fickou (66′),Baptiste Serin (69′), Jefferson Poirot (78′)
Conversions: Thomas Ramos (7′), Camille Lopez (67′,71′,80′)
🇺🇸 UNITED STATES – 0️⃣9️⃣
Penalties: AJ MacGinty (18′,31’64’)
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RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED
FRA (on 81.03 points) -vs- USA (on 72.18 points) in a RWC match
|Possible Outcome||Rating Point
|FRA win by 1-15 points||0.230||81.26||71.95||No|
|FRA win by more than 15||0.345||81.38||71.84||No|
|result is a draw||1.770||79.26||73.95||No|
|USA win by 1-15 points||3.770||77.26||75.95||No|
|USA win by more than 15||5.655||75.38||77.84||Yes|
1 Cyril Baille, 2 Camille Chat, 3 Emerick Setiano, 4 Bernard le Roux, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 6 Arthur Iturria, 7 Yacouba Camara, 8 Louis Picamoles (capt.), 9 Maxime Machenaud, 10 Camille Lopez, 11 Yoann Huget, 12 Gael Fickou, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 14 Alivereti Raka, 15 Thomas Ramos
Replacements: 16. Guilhem Guirado, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastién Vaha’amahina, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Maxime Médard
🇺🇸 UNITED STATES
1 Eric Fry, 2 Joe Taufetee, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Nate Brakeley, 5 Nick Civetta, 6 Tony Lamborn, 7 Hanco Germishuys, 8 Cam Dolan, 9 Shaun Davies, 10 AJ MacGinty, 11 Martin Iosefo, 12 Bryce Campbell, 13 Marcel Brache, 14 Blaine Scully (capt.), 15 Mike Teo
Replacements: 16 Dylan Fawsitt, 17 Olive Kilifi, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Ben Pinkelman, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Will Magie, 23 Thretton Palamo
Date: Wednesday, October 02
Kick-Off: 16:45 local
Venue: Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referee: Wayne Barnes (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)