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France 14 - Tonga 19

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  1. France through despite Tonga shock

    France through despite Tonga shock

    France limped into the quarter-finals after a 19-14 defeat at the hands of Tonga in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:80'
    • France
    • Tonga
    • 80+2' FULL-TIME: France miss the conversion - Tonga seal a famous upset. In the end France limp into the quarter-finals, but it was a horrendous showing. What is going on with France?
    • 80+2' 14-19 - Well - it might just be because France have scored here - they go right, and Clerc squeezes in at the far post!
    • 80+1' FRANCE DON'T KICK! They opt for another scrum. Why?
    • 80' Harinordoquy gets to within a foot of the line - but is held up - and as a Tongan leaves his feet in the breakdown, there's a simple kick for France to score their bonus point.
    • 79' Back to a scrum - Tonga's forwards holding them off, Lutui urging them to make one final effort.
    • 78' France opt to drive for the line - but Steve Walsh resets the scrum.
    • 77' Iongi in an awkward spot, repelled back over his own line. France win a scrum on 5m.
    • 76' Estebanez back from the bin, and Heymans replaces Palisson in a late France change.
    • 76' Morath misses this one by a whisker to the right.
    • 76' Morath will look to kick this penalty and extend the Tonga lead. They're going to record a famous win, but it could have been even better had they taken half their chances.
    • 75' No - it was held up on the line. No try. Tonga still have a penalty, but my word - France have dodged a bullet here - Medard made a saving tackle on Vahafolau who looked set to score just moments earlier.
    • 74' TONGA THINK THEY'VE SCORED! They're going up to the video official - but they might have scored it earlier after slicing through the French defence...
    • 72' 9-19 - Morath knocks over the penalty! France won't even get the losing bonus point at this rate! They'll still qualify, but there'll be consternation in the French camp.
    • 71' Referee signals a penalty - and Morath has a go at the drop goal - he hits the post! So close - but he took it on in the security of knowing he'd have the back-up of an easy kicking chance...
    • 70' Another directionless effort from France, and suddenly Ma'afu gets the Pacific islanders moving again...
    • 68' No - even the lineout has gone missing - Tonga win the ball, spin right, and they might have had a real opportunity had Iongi not lost control of the ball on the wing.
    • 67' Lilo kicks Tonga back past halfway with a deep kick - can Szarzewski maintain France's form at the lineout?
    • 66' 9-16 - Morath kicks - and Morath scores. France have 14 minutes to go, and 10 minutes of those win a man down.
    • 65' Penalty for Tonga - and a yellow card for Estebanez! He put in a dangerous tackle on Tuineau, not putting him to the ground safely. Carbon copy of the Hufanga incident in the first half, and the same punishment.
    • 64' Harinordoquy emerges with the ball from that France scrum, and takes Les Bleus out to the 22.
    • 63' Scrambling defence from France - and they are saved by the knock on from Piutau after an awkward pass from Moa. Lutui got within a metre of the line - but Tonga still to score in the second half.
    • 62' Both teams regrouping here - each set of players know how important the next phases could be.
    • 61' Piutau surges through - terrific break and a pass right to Iongi - can he finish it? No - he's held up at five metres. But France are still there for the taking.
    • 60' Morath opts to kick this one - and it's sailed left of the posts again for the second time in the half. Tonga have missed some chances to kill this game off - there's still time for it to be punished.
    • 59' Penalty to Tonga - Yachvili doesn't release the ball after a thunderous hit from Kalamafoni.
    • 58' Estebanez and Trinh-Duc come on to replace Parra and Rougerie. Fiji also making a change.
    • 57' Good carry from Ma'ilei as Tonga crash forward. France planning a double change.
    • 56' Moa and Ma'afu combine on the left before Tonga speculatively go right - Rougerie just about holds off Hufanga, but knocks on in the process.
    • 55' An absolutely astonishing pass to nobody in particular from Rougerie. France suddenly back under huge pressure. It's been horrible to watch at times in this half.
    • 54' Half a chance for France! Mermoz makes his best contribution of the game to shimmy into a gap, only to spoil it with an errant pass. Tonga thunder forward in response.
    • 52' They lose their way at the lineout - France turn over and get the ball away. But these are still nervous moments for the French.
    • 51' Magnificent from Tonga - they power upfield after Hufanga's tackle and turnover, and when they win a penalty they opt for touch rather than a kick at goal.
    • 51' Lakafia comes off, on comes Harinordoquy. Can he instil some confidence to France? Servat also off for Szarzewski.
    • 50' 9-13 - Yachvili steadies the French ship with a good kick.
    • 50' Taumalolo gets away with that one - only given a stern telling off by Steve Walsh. The Pacific islanders could - and probably should - have been back down to 10. But France do have a penalty chance.
    • 49' From nowhere Parra produces a surging, cutting run forward, and makes some good ground from France. Moa cuts him off, but the referee is taking a look at a late tackle from new substitute Taumalolo.
    • 48' Tonga change - Tanga'uiha off, Taumalolo on. And Hufanga returns from the sin-bin, so Tonga are back to a full 15.
    • 47' Moa's attempted grubber kick goes nowhere, France have the ball in hand - but go nowhere with it - they're passing the ball as if it's a hot potato - no carry from the French forwards.
    • 46' Tonga dominating the possession so far - where are France? They've gone from being scrappy in the first half to really poor in these opening minutes of the second period.
    • 45' Aulika replaces Pulu for Tonga - Pulu took a nasty blow to the head just before the interval.
    • 44' Tonga's ambition not dented by that miss - they're surging forward again. Piutau goes past the game line, but his offload goes forward.
    • 43' Morath misses the kick, pulling it to the left. A chance gone - but if Tonga harbour hopes of reaching the knockout stages it's tries they need. They must score four.
    • 42' Tonga awarded a penalty for offside which will give them a real chance to extend their lead. France not making the man advantage count!
    • 41' The second half begins! Tonga immediately on the front foot after a knock on from Bonnaire...
    • 40' A meandering attack from France secures plenty of possession but not much progress on the field. We stray past the 40-minute mark with France still on the ball... but a knock on is the fitting way for the move - and the half - to end. Tonga deservedly ahead, France very ragged. Should be a fascinating second period...
    • 39' Hufanga lifted Clerc's leg right up, and made landing on his shoulder a real possibility. The man advantage gives France a chance, but they only have about 90 seconds of the 10 minutes before the interval.
    • 38' Hufanga bulldozes Clerc here - a super tackle, but he doesn't put him down cleanly - and it looks like Steve Walsh is reaching for a card.
    • 37' The patch-up job on Poux's cut is not quite holding up. He may need to head off for another bit of bandaging, which delays the scrum.
    • 36' Yachvili pumps a kick forward to nowhere in particular. Lievremont has a very important team talk coming up.
    • 35' 6-13 - Over it goes for Morath and Tonga - sailing through the middle. As it stands, France still qualify for the quarters. But this has been a pretty ugly half for the northern hemisphere side.
    • 34' France stray offside as Tonga keep gaining the yards - and that provides a great opportunity for Tonga to extend their lead.
    • 33' Tonga'uiha carries the ball several metres further than it looked possible - the forwards have been ferocious so far. Hufanga probes down the wing but Clerc tackles.
    • 32' Pulu is back up and Tonga emerge from that French pressure intact. France have a scrum just inside their opponent's half, but Tonga win it against the head.
    • 31' It's come at something of a cost for Tonga, though; Pulu is down after what looks like a nasty clash of heads defending against Servat.
    • 30' Have they done it? No! Servat tries to get across, but is punished for a double-movement - Tonga survive.
    • 29' France on the move here - they're inches from the try line - just trying to work out how they'll cross...
    • 28' Rougerie almost made it to the line in an immediate counter-attack there, but somehow France are denied. Actually, replays show Maka fouling, and he's lucky it's not noticed.
    • 27' 6-10 - Super follow-up from Morath to add a conversion from an acute angle. Tonga are not going to make this easy for France.
    • 26' 6-8 - TONGA TRY! HUFANGA! Terrific move spotted by Morath, and a sharp kick gets Hufanga. Bonnaire missed a crucial tackle and Dusautoir couldn't halt Hufanga's charge to the corner.
    • 24' 6-3 - Yachvili does the kicking duties to give France a narrow lead.
    • 23' Penalty for France as Tonga go offside. Simple kick for Yachvili in front of the posts - but Tonga will be relieved to get away with just three points there.
    • 22' France get themselves into the 22 - looks as if Lafakia can make the crucial line break but he's held up five metres from the line. That move took a while to come together after some slow ball - and the French are also running on to the ball with little pace.
    • 21' France kick well upfield, and that brings about a lineout - they're so strong in that department, it's one aspect of their game which has held up well all tournament.
    • 20' Moment of excitement as Moa picks up Hufanga with a chipped kick - but no - the winger had crept offside, and was penalised as soon as he grabbed the ball. If he'd held his run, he'd have had a golden chance to score.
    • 19' Maka's been off having treatment for a blood injury too - this has been a very physical opening quarter.
    • 18' Clerc penalised for not rolling away - Tonga back on the front foot after a driving run from Kalamafoni, and they kick for the corner.
    • 17' Missed chance for Morath and Tonga - it starts off down the middle but drifts left. The Pacific islanders will need to get full value from their chances.
    • 16' Piutau shimmies and dummies to pass so many times he ends up almost confusing himself! But as he is brought down we go back to an earlier penalty which Morath can kick.
    • 15' Moa catches everyone off guard with a grubber kick that he gives chase to - but Palisson does some superb work to beat him to the ball and pick it up cleanly.
    • 14' 95% - Les Bleus have had the most successful lineout at the 2011 RWC, winning 95% of their own throws. Pinpoint. (OptaJim on Twitter)
    • 13' Yachvili knocks it forward after a poor clearance from Medard. Tonga have the scrum on their 22.
    • 12' Rougerie breaks the line after some patient France build-up, but his back of the hand pass is intercepted by Morath.
    • 11' Servat takes the lineout which Bonnaire grabs. Tonga meeting force with force on the halfway line, and the result is slow ball.
    • 10' After that early penalty for France, it's been all Tonga so far. Lievremont's side have the comfort of knowing, though, that Tonga have to seal a bonus-point win and deny the French any bonus points to have any hope of advancing.
    • 9' France come off the better in a couple of scrums, but their attacking play fizzles out. Hufanga grabs a loose kick forward and runs it out of his own 22.
    • 7' 3-3 - A good kick through the middle of the posts from Morath - Tonga back on level terms.
    • 6' Ouch - Poux has sustained a bleeding cut during that spell of defence - blood sub required, Barcella comes on.
    • 5' Penalty for Tonga, a reward for their patience. Tonga'uiha blocked in the advantage, so Steve Walsh brings it back for a kickable chance.
    • 4' Tonga going through the phases, but Moa only able to deliver slow ball from scrum-half. 13 phases and counting.
    • 3' Tonga on the move, captain Maka driving the ball forward. The men in red are imposing, France's defence being tested just inside their own half.
    • 2' 3-0 - France off to the ideal start as Yachvili strikes over from 35m. Should settle any early nerves.
    • 2' Early penalty for France as Tonga are caught offside. It's kickable, and Yachvili steps up to take it.
    • 1' Australia's Steve Walsh signals kick-off, and France kick off in Wellington!
    • 6:00 As the national anthems ring out, I have a quick opportunity to remind you that you can get involved by commenting below or by following me on Twitter @markjpatterson
    • 5:55 The weather in Wellington looks superb - a far cry from the second-half downpour in Nelson where Australia were playing earlier.
    • 5:55 France have recorded convincing wins in two of their three meetings with Tonga but were sprung a surprise in 1999 as they were beaten 20-16. (Opta)
    • 5:55 A reminder of earlier today - Australia beat Russia 68-22, but lost Drew Mitchell to injury. Match report here
    • 5:50 So France continue with the half-back pairing of Parra and Yachvili, while Medard is their third full-back of the tournament, but it's unlikely to be unduly tested today - but the French do have to rediscover their confidence before a quarter-final against the winner of Pool B - which could yet be England, Scotland or Argentina. Group B standings
    • 5:45 TONGA: 15-Vungakoto Lilo, 14-Viliame Iongi, 13-Siale Piutau, 12-Andrew Ma'ilei, 11-Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 10-Kurt Morath, 9-Taniela Moa, 8-Viliami Ma'afu, 7-Finau Maka (captain), 6-Sione Kalamafoni, 5-Paino Hehea, 4-Tukulua Lokotui, 3-Kisi Pulu, 2-Aleki Lutui, 1-Soane Tonga'uiha. Replacements: 16-Ephraim Taukafa, 17-Alisona Taumalolo, 18-Halani Aulika, 19-Joseph Tuineau, 20-Samiu Vahafolau, 21-Samisoni Fisilau, 22-Alipate Fatafehi
    • 5:40 FRANCE: 15-Maxime Medard, 14-Vincent Clerc, 13-Aurelien Rougerie, 12-Maxime Mermoz, 11-Alexis Palisson, 10-Morgan Parra, 9-Dimitri Yachvili, 8-Raphael Lakafia, 7-Julien Bonnaire, 6-Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5-Lionel Nallet, 4-Pascal Pape, 3-Luc Ducalcon, 2-William Servat, 1-Jean-Baptiste Poux. 16-Dimitri Szarzewski, 17-Fabien Barcella, 18-Julien Pierre, 19-Imanol Harinordoquy, 20-Francois Trinh-Duc, 21-Fabrice Estebanez, 22-Cedric Heymans
    • 5:35 France and Tonga have never met in a World Cup, but France go in as heavy favourites, and need to win in order to formally seal qualifcation for the quarter-finals. Group A standings
    • 5:30 Morning everyone, and welcome to LIVE text coverage of France v Tonga from Pool A of the Rugby World Cup!
  • Summary

    France versus Tonga
    Clerc 82’ Tries Hufanga 26’
      Conversions Morath 28’
    Yachvili 2’, 23’, 50’ Penalties Morath 7’, 36’, 67’, 73’
      Drops  

Live Team Line-Up

  • France

    Manager: Marc Lievremont

    On the Field

    • Poux Substitution In (20′) Substitution Out (45′)
    • Servat Substitution Out (49′)
    • Ducalcon Substitution In (45′) Substitution Out (40′)
    • Papé Substitution Out (67′)
    • Nallet
    • Dusautoir
    • Bonnaire
    • Lakafia Substitution Out (49′)
    • Yachvili
    • Parra Substitution Out (58′)
    • Palisson Substitution Out (76′)
    • Mermoz
    • Rougerie Substitution Out (59′)
    • Clerc Try
    • Médard

    Subs

    • Harinordoquy Substitution In (49′)
    • Heymans Substitution In (76′)
    • Szarzewski Substitution In (49′)
    • Pierre Substitution In (67′)
    • Trinh-Duc Substitution In (58′)
    • Barcella Substitution In (40′) Substitution Out (20′)
    • Estebanez Substitution In (59′) Yellow Card

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Tonga

    Manager: Isitolo Maka

    On the Field

    • Tonga'uiha Substitution Out (47′)
    • Lutui
    • Pulu Substitution Out (41′)
    • Lokotui
    • Hehea Substitution Out (57′)
    • Kalamafoni
    • Maka Substitution In (25′) Substitution Out (42′)
    • Ma'afu
    • Moa
    • Morath
    • Hufanga Try Yellow Card Substitution Out (73′)
    • Malei Substitution Out (62′)
    • Piutau
    • Iongi
    • Lilo

    Subs

    • Taukafa
    • Vahafolau Substitution In (42′) Substitution Out (25′)
    • Fatafehi Substitution In (62′)
    • Palu Substitution In (73′)
    • Taumalolo Substitution In (47′)
    • Aulika Substitution In (41′)
    • Tu'ineau Substitution In (57′)

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

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