• France's news in English

France beat Canada to set up Ireland clash

AFP · 2 Oct 2015, 08:13

Published: 02 Oct 2015 08:13 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Frederic Michalak became France's record World Cup points scorer on Thursday as the French took a massive step towards the quarter-finals with a 41-18 win over Canada.

The 33-year-old fly-half, already France's all-time leading scorer, scored 14 points to go 12 past Thierry Lacroix's previous mark of 124.

Michalak earned the man-of-the-match award in front of a record crowd for Stadium MK of 28,145 including Prince Harry.

France's far from convincing win -- the Canadians came back from 17-0 down to 17-12 -- sets them up for their final Pool D clash against Ireland on October 11 in a probable  decider as to who tops the table and avoids a probable clash against New Zealand.

The Irish, unbeaten in two games so far, play Italy on Sunday.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said that while there had been a spell of poor play by his side he was pleased overall.

"The end result is three games, three wins and 14 points from a possible 15.

"As a group we are eager to go far and we have some huge games to come starting with Ireland."

A typical piece of visionary brilliance by Michalak in the fourth minute opened up the Canadian defence.

He handed off one of the props dismissively, burst free, drew his defender and with a sublime sleight of hand passed the ball to Wesley Fofana who ran the ball in.

Michalak converted to draw level with Lacroix's record.

He broke it in the 15th minute slotting over a penalty to make it 10-0. The Canadians' evening worsened as captain Tyler Ardron had to go off with a knee injury.

Michalak and Fofana nearly combined for a second try in the 24th minute. Michalak placed a cheeky cross field kick into Fofana's path over the tryline but the centre could not quite gather the ball to touch it down.

Grosso debut try

However, the French did not have to wait long to add to their tally. Hooker Guilhem Guirado bundled over with Michalak adding the extras for 17-0.

The Canadians struck back almost imediately. French debutant Remy Grosso was beaten in the air and the ball was eventually worked brilliantly out to the other wing where DTH van der Merwe used his speed to outpace the defence and touch down.

It took van der Merwe onto 19 Test tries and his third in three games at this World Cup.

Hirayama converted to rousing cheers, including several spectators dressed as Canadian Mounties, for 17-7.

The Mounties were whooping and hollering minutes later as unbelievably the Canadians scored a second try. Hooker Aaron Carpenter planted the ball on the line -- though Hirayama missed the conversion -- for 17-12.

The French pulled themselves together and responded with a try two minutes from the break, the ball worked by Bernard Le Roux to lock Pascal Pape for prop Rabah Slimani to finish it off. Michalak converted for 24-12.

Hirayama reduced the deficit two minutes into the second-half to make it 24-16.

Story continues below…

The fly-half deservedly drew the Canadians within a converted try of the French, slotting over another penalty as the clock ticked over into the 55th minute.

Michalak made it 27-18 with another penalty.

The French grabbed their bonus point fourth try when Pape squeezed the ball through a mass of bodies and Michalak converted for 34-18 with 13 minutes remaining.

The Canadians tired and saw replacement Nanyak Dala Bieng sin-binned as the game entered its final 10 minutes.

The man advantage worked for Grosso who went in at the far left hand corner to mark his debut with a try.

"To score a try is always a pleasure, and what is even more pleasing is that my mate Remi (Tales) set me up," said Grosso.

"Emotion welled up inside me."

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

How Paris is rapidly becoming Europe's 'City of Innovation'
Photo: AFP

If you want to start a company then Paris is the place to do it, it seems.

France's 'Jungle' children arrive in UK
Authorities will start to clear the ‘Jungle’ migrant camp on Monday. Photo: Denis Charlet / AFP file picture

The first group of children from the French "Jungle" migrant camp with no connection to Britain have arrived in the country, the Home Office said Sunday, ahead of the camp's planned demolition.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available