Pacific Islanders no match for France - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pacific Islanders no match for France

16/11/2008 07:15:49 AM Comments (0)

France made hard work of beating the Pacific Islanders 42-17 with their opponents playing most of the match with 14 men after Napoleoni Nalaga was dismissed.

The French ran in five tries, including one from man-of-the-match Cedric Heymans and one from debutant Sebastien Tillous-Bordes, who had to come on for Jean-Baptiste Elissalde when he was cynically head-tackled by Nalaga.

The opening minutes were a cagey affair with the Pacific Islanders initially taking a 3-0 lead through a Seremaia Bai penalty, which was then cancelled out by David Skrela but the three point gap was restored by Bai in the 10th minute.

However, the balance of the match tipped the hosts' way 18 minutes into the first-half when Nalaga was justifiably red-carded by referee Nigel Owens for a gratuitous head-high tackle on France scrum-half Elissalde - who had to be stretchered off.

It took the French a good 10 minutes to register their one-man advantage before a good lay-off by Julien Malzieu set up Dimitri Szarzewski who touched down under the posts and Skrela duly converted.

The French grabbed a second try soon afterwards, though it had a touch of fortune about it as France captain Lionel Nallet obstructed an Islanders defender but Owens failed to see that and Tillous-Bordes was allowed to run in and score his maiden try for his country.

Bai, though, kept the Pacific Islanders within reach when he landed a penalty in time added on to leave the score at 17-12 at the break.

The French started the second half brightly and extended their lead as Heymans touched down to make it 22-12 and then two Skrela penalties ensured some much needed breathing space for the hosts.

While the Islanders went close to scoring a try on a couple of occasions, it was the French that managed to convert their opportunity with Picamoles touching down and Skrela converting.

Outstanding Toulouse fullback Maxime Medard then touched down before the Islanders got a deserved try two minutes from the end by Tongan Epeli Taione.

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