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banner Sunday, 5 November, 2000, 17:19 GMT
French seal spot in last eight
Gael Tallec
Gael Tallec scored a late try for France
France 56-6 South Africa

France clinched a quarter-final place in the Lincoln World Cup with a convincing 56-6 win against 12-man South Africa at Albi.

But they must await the result of the final Group Three match between Papua New Guinea and Tonga in Perpignan before they know their opponents.

It will be either New Zealand or Wales.

France will prove tough opponents for either side after a good performance, although their job was made easier when South African skipper Jamie Bloem was sent off after 31 minutes.

Backchat

Bloem was originally sin-binned for interference at the play of the ball but on his way to the sidelines he said something out of turn and Australian referee Steve Clark had no hesitation in producing the red card.

Jamie Bloem
Bloem took on France - and the ref
France were already 14-2 ahead thanks to a Jean-Emmanuel Cassin try after eight minutes and some exciting work from fullback Freddie Banquet.

Banquet converted Cassin's effort, kicked a penalty 10 minutes later and converted his own four-pointer after he had found a gap in the South African defence from 20 metres out in the 21st minute.

All South Africa had to show was a solitary Bloem penalty, awarded when the French had strayed offside.

Swashbuckling

With the opposing captain and chief playmaker gone from the field, Gilles Dumas' men took the opportunity to cut loose in swashbuckling style.


Our boys played their hearts out but they were playing against 14 men at all times. He just seemed to see blue-and-white, not black-and-red.
  Jamie Bloem
Five minutes before the break Cassin ran in for his second try of the game from a lovely pass by Julien Rinaldi.

And former Warrington star Jerome Guisset put the game beyond any real doubt when he crashed over under the posts with Banquet again converting to give France a 26-2 interval lead.

Man-of-the-match loose forward Pascal Jampy scored a sensational hat-trick in the first 13 minutes of the second half.

Banquet converted all three tries to stretch the French lead to 44-2.

A late Quinton de Villiers try gave the Rhinos some consolation but further French tries from Claude Sirvent and Gael Tallec, with two Banquet goals, brought the curtain down on France's World Cup home games in style.

Harsh words

Afterwards, Halifax Blue Sox star Bloem had some further harsh words for the referee, claiming: "He had a big part to play in our defeat.

"Our boys played their hearts out but they were playing against 14 men at all times. He just seemed to see blue-and-white, not black-and-red.

"South Africa has done really well in this World Cup. We have done a lot better than people thought we would.

"We gave Papua New Guinea a good fright in Toulouse. But you can't go on the field and play against 14-men - it's just impossible."

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