Wallabies run riot in Paris
O'Connor scores 29 points, hat-trick for Mitchell as France collapse
Last Updated: 27/11/10 10:03pm
Mitchell: three tries in 10 minutes
Australia produced a sensational second-half display to claim a 59-16 win over France in Paris.
Drew Mitchell bagged a hat-trick as six of the visitors' seven tries at the Stade de France came after the break.
After Adam Ashley-Cooper's early score, Australia's problems at the scrum were exposed when France were awarded a penalty try and Les Bleus moved into the lead at 16-13 courtesy of the third of Morgan Parra's three penalties at the start of the second half.
But tries from Benn Robinson and Will Genia in the 48th and 51st minutes put Australia in control, before Mitchell claimed a quickfire hat-trick and James O'Connor added a try of his own to complete a personal haul of 29 points.
Australia needed just four minutes to take the lead with the first try of the match, as a good move from the lineout saw O'Connor offload to Ashley-Cooper to go over.
O'Connor added the extras, but France were awarded a penalty at the scrum, which Parra converted to bring the hosts to within four points.
Australia were given two penalties in two minutes, with O'Connor missing one and scoring one, then Parra did likewise, missing a simple chance in front of the posts, then atoning when Berrick Barnes was penalised for a high tackle on Fulgence Ouedraogo.
O'Connor took advantage when France were penalised for offside, taking the score to 13-6, but Australia made problems for themselves soon after as their scrummaging troubles were again exposed.
The Wallabies were repeatedly penalised by referee Bryce Lawrence as the scrum collapsed close to their line, and the inevitable penalty try was awarded.
To add insult to injury for Australia, James Slipper was sin-binned before Parra converted the try to draw the scores level.
Some dogged defence was required by France to keep the scores level going into half-time and another penalty from Parra two minutes after the resumption put them ahead at 16-13.
Finally, though, the Australian pack came good as they were awarded a scrum near the France line, with Robinson eventually going over after Rocky Elsom and Ashley-Cooper had come up just short.
O'Connor converted, and he did so again moments later when Will Genia took advantage of more good work from Ashley-Cooper to touch down.
That made it 27-16 and O'Connor extended the lead by another three points when France were again penalised for offside.
Australia were flowing now and Mitchell made the most of acres of space down the left wing for another converted try.
O'Connor added another penalty, before Mitchell scored again when Ashley-Cooper's grubber bounced kindly for him and he claimed a third when he touched down as Elsom went over but was prevented from grounding the ball by Aurelien Rougerie.
O'Connor converted both of those and, though he could not do likewise from his own try in the dying seconds to take Australia past the 60-point mark, the French fans made known their displeasure when final whistle sounded.