France easily defeat Australia at the Stade de France
Last Updated: 10/11/12 10:38pm
Wesley Fofana: Scored the pick of the tries at the Stade de France
Australia made an awful start to their autumn campaign in Europe as they were thrashed 33-6 by an impressive France side.
Louis Picamoles and Wesley Fofana both ran in scores and a dominant scrum forced a penalty try, while impressive fly-half Frederic Michalak kicked 15 points at the Stade de France.
The Wallabies enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half but were completely overwhelmed after the break and are firmly on the back foot heading into next weekend's clash with England.
The hosts got the first points on the board in the fifth minute as Michalak slotted over a penalty but Mike Harris responded in kind for the Wallabies soon after.
France's pack was controlling matters, however, and a powerful scrum allowed No 8 Picamoles to pick up and race over the try-line for a simple score in the 13th minute.
Michalak added the extras to extend the lead but Australia eventually found their feet and pulled three points back via the boot of Harris, only for Michalak to add a penalty and a drop goal to France's tally before the break.
At 16-6 behind the visitors needed to up their game at the start of the second half but instead it was France who continued to threaten, with Michalak making a superb break before playing in Fofana for the second try of the evening.
Michalak was once again on target with the conversion to give France a 17-point lead, which was soon extended by another seven as a crumbling Australia scrum surrendered a penalty try.
Australia's woes continued when Adam Ashley-Cooper's claim for a consolation try was denied by the television match official, although Rob Simmons was somewhat fortunate to escape punishment for an apparent tip tackle on Yannick Nyanga.
A penalty from Morgan Parra completed the scoring in the closing stages to send the hosts up into the all-important fourth place in the IRB rankings with the 2015 World Cup draw closing in.