Sunday, September 16, 2007

France Steamroller Namibia

After their opening game humiliation, there was always going to be a French backlash. Unfortunately for Namibia, they were the next opponents, and the mismatch was obvious.

The French made a good start, but Namibia weren't afraid of putting in some big hits. The first try wasn't long coming - 7 minutes in, winger C├ędric Heymans [left] crossed over in the corner, his 10th in French colours, but Elissalde failed to convert. Just a few minutes later, Namibia's Emile Wessels struck a penalty. France attacked immediately from the restart, going through two phases, for David Marty to score again in the opposite corner to Heymans. This time Elissalde's boot was true.

But there were still some handling errors from the French. And big hits from the Africans - Sebastian Chabal took a huge tackle from the Namibian No. 8 Jacques Nieuwenhuis who was red carded for the offence. Seabass wasn't too phased by the event, and after the break, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde made a great cross-kick for Chabal to bounce over the line and take the score to 54-3. Five minutes later, Chabal broke and ran 55m up the pitch to score a second. Elissalide converted again and the score marched on to 61-3.

France kept turning the screw - Elissalde [left] scored a try of his own a minute after Chabal's; Vincent Clerc bagged another two and Raphael Ibanez added one too - taking the French tally to 13.

There was a small consolation right at the death for Namibia, when their Centre, Bratley Langenhoven touched down in the 79th minute. Fullback Tertius Losper took the extras, to bring up ten points for the underdogs. The final whistle blew, and the result was confirmed at 87-10.

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