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France crush Wallabies 33-6 in Spring Tour Opener

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The Qantas Wallabies have suffered a first up defeat at the hands of France in their opening Spring Tour match of 2012 this morning, going down 33-6 in front of a vocal French crowd.

The Qantas Wallabies entered half time trailing the French by 10 points after the home side ran in the only try of the first half following a scrum five metres out from the Australian line.

The boot of Qantas Wallabies flyhalf, Mike Harris, kept the visitors score ticking over with two penalty goals, however his opposite number, Frederic Michalak, also secured two penalty goals as well as a drop goal to give the home side the upper hand.

The second half didn't start well for the visitors with the French reclaiming the kick-off to immediately put the Australian defence under pressure.

Within two minutes the French had an opportunity to stretch their lead, however a penalty goal attempt by Florian Fritz was unsuccessful and the Qantas Wallabies hope of pegging back Les Bleus remained.

The French did manage to secure the first points of the second half though, crossing for their second try of the match in the 55th minute through winger, Wesley Fofana and when Les Bleus flyhalf , Frederik Michalak converted the French led 23-6.

Nine minutes later and the Australian's night got worse when referee Nigel Owen awarded the home side a penalty try after he lost patience with the Australian's scrum, which had been well beaten for most of the night.

Again Michalak added the extras and the Qantas Wallabies found themselves trailing 30-6 with just 15 minutes left.

The Qantas Wallabies refused to lie down and three minutes later in the 68th minute Australian winger, Adam Ashley-Cooper thought he'd crossed for the tourists first five pointer of the Spring Tour.

The try was referred to the TMO for a decision and after several minutes of deliberation and replays Referee Nigel Owen awarded an Australian scrum five metres out after the TMO had ruled the ball to have been held up.

With four minutes remaining on the clock the French were awarded a penalty and thanks to the boot of replacement flyhalf, Francois Trinh-Duc, they extended their lead to 27-points.

Despite a number of last minute forays into the French half in an attempt to secure a consolation try the Qantas Wallabies could not break the fierce French defence and when the final siren sounded the tourists found themselves on the wrong side of the 33-6 score line.

The Qantas Wallabies will now re-group and move to London to face England next weekend at Twickenham Stadium.

Full Time: France 33 – Australia 6