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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 16:15 GMT
Clerc torments Canadians
French flanker Serge Betsen is tackled by Canadian captain Al Charron
Betsen blasts through the Canadian ranks in Paris
France 35-3 Canada

Vincent Clerc ran in two second-half tries to round off a record 35-3 victory over Canada at the Stade de France.

David Bory and Damien Traille also went over for Les Bleus as they put the seal on a Six Nations Grand Slam-winning year.

And Gerald Merceron, recalled after missing the Tests against South Africa and New Zealand, kicked 13 points to the delight of French manager Jo Maso.

  Match facts
France:
Tries: Bory, Traille, Clerc (2); Conversions: Merceron (2), Traille Penalties: Merceron (3)
Canada:
Penalty: Ross

Maso said: "I'm glad we gave Merceron a chance to prove he was the player who played such an important part in our 2002 Six Nations campaign."

Canada enjoyed a fair amount of possession but were unable to make it count.

And afterwards coach David Clark was quick to praise the French.

He said: "France truly deserve to be called the number one or number two team in the world."

The hosts took the lead after 10 minutes when Merceron slotted over a penalty.

Bory then grabbed a glorious solo try, dummying inside the Canadian centres from 22m. Merceron converted for 10-0.

Only a brilliant tackle by Canadian captain Al Charron stopped giant centre Traille from adding another try as France poured forward.

Boos

Their efforts were rewarded when Merceron added another penalty just before the half-hour mark to make it 13-0.

He extended France's lead to 16-0 two minutes into the second-half when he kicked a penalty in front of the posts.

That brought boos from the French crowd who wanted to see their team run with the ball.

Gerald Merceron
Merceron kicked three penalties
Flanker Olivier Magne duly oblighed, bursting deep into Canadian territory before offloading to Traille who cruised in for a try.

Merceron added the extras before Clerc showed why he one of France's most exciting talents.

Receiving the ball 30m out with two men covering him, he turned on the gas and left opposite number Fred Asselin for dead to touch down for his second try in three Tests.

Merceron failed to add the two points but Asselin's day got worse when Irish referee David McHugh sin-binned him for a high tackle on Thomas Castaignede.

Clerc then added his second try as he finished off a beautiful running move involving Fabien Galthie, Traille and Castaignede. Traille converted while Merceron was receiving treatment.

Bobby Ross marked his 50th cap and got Canada on the scoresheet as he kicked a late penalty.


France: Nicolas Brusque; Vincent Clerc, Thomas Castaignede, Damien Traille, David Bory; Gerald Merceron, Fabien Galthie (captain); Imanol Harinordoquy, Olivier Magne, Serge Betsen, Olivier Brouzet, Fabien Pelous, Pieter de Villiers, Raphael Ibanez, Jean-Jacques Crenca.

Canada: Winston Stanley; Sean Fauth, Nik Witkowski, John Cannon, Fred Asselin; Bob Ross, Morgan Williams; Philip Murphy, Ryan Banks, Al Charron (captain), Mike James, John Tait, John Thiel, Pat Dunkley, Rod Snow.

 NOV 23-24 TESTS
 ENGLAND 53-3 SA
 WALES 17-43 NZ
 IRELAND 16-7 ARG
 FRANCE 35-3 CANADA
 ITALY 3-34 AUSTRALIA
 SCOTLAND V FIJI

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