According to the media, the Wallabies are a chance of a two-peat against France tonight. It’s a low bar getting excited about winning two in a row, but it seems to be where we’re at right now. This French side is near the pointy end of men’s rugby right now, kind of where we were 20 years ago. There’s probably no two-peat happening tonight, but an unreasonable expectation of success is built into the Australian DNA. I mean we’re a chance, right?
The Wallabies kick off to Les Bleus, mess around at their ruck, 1000 Peyper Cuts calls the ball out and Nic White pounces on the French halfback for a turnover. We get to run our patterns for a bit, and it looks good, but eventually we turn the ball over. Our promising start seemed to end in a scrum, then Peyper awards us the scrum penalty and our good start gets us three points.
Random thought: what happened to that super scrum machine the French scientist built 15 years ago?
The Wallabies seem to spoil their good start a bit giving away two kickable penalties and kicking one of their own to even the score 6-6 when at the 15 minute mark when Les Bleus seemed to have scored after a fair bit of pressure on the Wallabies line. But, the TMO had other thoughts and the French player (sorry missed his name) was deemed to have crawled along the ground a bit and the try was taken back.
If you watch one minute of this game, watch what happens at around the 14 minute mark and the Aussie try that resulted. It really is special, and I won’t even try to describe it here. Australia in front 13-6
Then Australia did their Australian thing and gave away kickable penalties and let France rack up easy points, bringing the score back to 13-12. Right on half-time Foley threw a miserable pass to no one and the French backs lapped it up and moments later they scored beside the posts. If the French ‘try’ had not been overturned a Foley error would’ve had a hand in both tries.
A penalty each to start the second half, advancing the score to 22-16 France’s way. Australia’s forwards are starting to get a little reward for pressure at the defensive ruck. Big Willy Skelton rumbles on with 30 minutes to go and makes a difference. Tupou was hanging around him like a bad smell and the two big units were drawing in defenders like bogans to a big Mac.
Australia score another great try, this time to Jock Campbell off the back of a sweet little offload from Big Willy to Tupou. Wallabies sneak ahead 23-22. This really isn’t going as I expected.
Antonio, the French tighthead is MASSIVE!
Another penalty to the Wallabies to stretch their lead to four points with 15 minutes to go. France has strangely decided not to attack the Wallabies lineout and instead are simply defending. France dominate play and possession for the next seven minutes, but somehow the Wallabies hang on until they eventually give away three points with eight minutes to go. Australia lead 26-25.
Australia stretch it to four points again but a few minutes later Les Bleus score a vital try to Penaud with five minutes to go. France now lead 30-29 with three minutes to go.
And that’s how it ended, final score 30-29. Once again I’m left to wonder what could happen if Australia found a way to stop giving away penalties.