France wear down Uruguay to take control of Group A at rugby World Cup

AP - Thibault Camus

France wore down Uruguay on Thursday night to maintain their 100 per cent record at the 2023 rugby union World Cup.

The hosts beat the South Americans 27-12 to take control of Group A following their opening day victory over New Zealand.

Just like in that first match, the French made the difference in the closing stages.

A Melvyn Jaminet penalty gave France first blood but Uruguay silenced the partisans at the Stade Pierre Mauroy when they took the lead through Nicolas Freitas' try after seven minutes.

The breathless pace continued. Maxime Lucu set up fly-half Antoine Hastoy to go over the line for an 8-5 lead. Jaminet's conversion extended the advantage to 10-5

And another Jaminet penalty put France in control 13-5 after 15 minutes.

But France could not push on before half-time.


With the partisans expecting their men to rack up the points after the pause, the Uruguayans came back to within a point.

But 13-12 was as good as it got. Less than two minutes after drawing close, Felipe Etcheverry tried to slash the ball upfield but his kick rebounded off one of his teamamtes and Peato Mauvaka collected the rebound to score under the posts and restore the eight-point lead.

Seven minutes from time, Louis Bielle-Biarrey added the gloss with a try on the right wing to became at 20 the youngest Frenchman to score at a World Cup. Jaminet collected another two points to take his night's tally up to 12 points.

On Friday in Group A in Toulouse, New Zealand take on Namibia who then face France in Marseille on 21 September.

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