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France hold on to maintain home winning run against Fiji

France hold on to maintain home winning run against Fiji

France hold on to maintain home winning run against Fiji

France held on to defeat a defiant Fiji 34-17 in Round 3 of the Summer Nations Series in Nantes.

Les Bleus raced into a 21-10 lead at half-time thanks to three Melvyn Jaminet penalties and tries from Peato Mauvaka and Uini Atonio, with Tevita Ikanivere hitting back with a score for Fiji.

The Flying Fijians reduced the gap further through Semi Radrada before Sekou Macalou showed his speed when scoring a breakaway intercept try to put France two scores clear again.

Jaminet’s sensational boot was again crucial for Les Bleus, as it was in their 2022 Guinness Six Nations Grand Slam title.

France quickly built a lead, exploiting Fijian ill-discipline, as Jaminet nailed three penalties inside the opening 10 minutes to build a 9-0 lead.

Jonathan Danty was at the heart of the French dominance, winning a turnover penalty, while Fiji appeared to be short of ideas in how to deal with the France attack.

Caleb Muntz did earn kick a penalty of his own to reduce the deficit to 9-3 after 18 minutes and the initial French dominance was temporarily stemmed.

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That was until a wonderful break from winger Louis Bielle-Biarrey, who found space down the right hand side, before the ball came the other way and hooker Mauvaka dived into the left corner.

Fiji hit back quickly through their own hooker when Ikanivere bundled over and the scoreline was reduced back to one score.

France though showed just why they have not lost on home soil since March 2021, and found another score before the break, as Uini Atonio found his way over the line in the same corner as Mauvaka earlier on in the half.

The second half began in the same way as the first, with Jaminet adding three points from the tree after Danty won a penalty to extend the lead to 24-10 after 42 minutes.

The game continued to ebb and flow though and Fiji captain Radrada scored his side’s second try ten minutes into the second half to reduce the France lead to 24-17 thanks to Muntz’s conversion.


@autumnnationsseriesFiji and France bring their best 🔥

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It appeared we were set for a tight finish, before Macalou read the pass from Fiji scrum-half Frank Lomani and sprinted away to further extend France’s lead back to 31-17.

Jaminet then turned the screw further, adding yet another penalty to put Les Bleus into a 34-17 lead.

Fiji did come back, with wave after wave of attack, camping on the France try line for long periods of play but they were unable to capitalise initially before some excellent French defence forced a knock on and the opportunity for Les Bleus to clear their lines.

In the end Les Bleus held on for a fairly routine win, inspired by the boot of Jaminet, who scored five penalties and their fearless pacey forwards Mauvaka and Macalou.


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