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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 October, 2003, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
France sweep past Fiji
Fiji 18 (8)
Try: Naevo, Caucaunibuca
Pen: Little (2)
Conv: Little
France 61 (24)
Tries: Dominici (2), Harinordoquy, Jauzion (3), Ibanez
Pens: Michalak (6)
Conv: Michalak (4)
Fiji 18-61 France

A hat-trick from centre Yannick Jauzion sealed an emphatic victory for France against a plucky Fiji in Brisbane on Saturday.

Jauzion grabbed three tries in succession to frustrate the Pacific Islanders, who struggled for possession throughout the game.

Christophe Dominici (2), Imanol Harinordoquy and Raphael Ibanez also touched over for France, but the match will be remembered for Fijian Rupeni Caucaunibuca's long-range effort.

The Blues winger lit up the Suncorp Stadium with a 70-metre solo try to demonstrate exactly why New Zealand fans had hoped to see him in an All Black shirt.

The game started slowly as fly-halves Frederic Michalak and Nicky Little swapped penalties, before the French number 10 gave his side the lead with his second three-pointer.

It was a beautiful match for the backs
French captain Fabien Galthie
At 6-3 the opening quarter contained little of the running rugby expected from two of the world's most flamboyant sides.

But all that changed when Aurelien Rougerie sliced his clearance kick straight into the hands of Aisea Tuilevu, whose delicate pass released huge lock Api Naevo for the game's opening score.

Despite gaining good possession, Les Bleus struggled for consistency in attack and were again forced to rely of the boot of Michalak.

With half-time approaching, at last the game opened up as the Pool B favourites touched down twice within 10 minutes.

Stade Francais winger Dominici marked his return to international rugby by finishing off a fine blindside move, while Harinordoquy muscled his way over directly from the re-start.

Fiji hit back immediately after the break, with Sevens expert Caucaunibuca blistering through some helpless French defence to touch over underneath the posts.

Michalak again replied with two three-pointers before Jauzion grabbed his fourth international try.

We started well but then we lacked concentation
Fiji captain Alifereti Doviverata
The final quarter was dominated by a number of unsavoury moments, which resulted in Olivier Magne and Caucaunibuca receiving yellow cards.

The incident failed to alter the course of the match, however, as Tony Marsh burst though some poor Fijian defence to send Jauzion over for his second and a vital French bonus point.

Fiji looked both down and out and minutes later the French centre grabbed his World Cup hat-trick.

With the game all but over, Raphael Ibanez ploughed over from a line-out and Dominici then grabbed his second to seal a comprehensive victory for Bernard Laporte's men.


France: N Brusque; A Rougerie, T Marsh, Y Jauzion, C Dominici; F Michalak, F Galthie (capt); J-J Crenca, R Ibanez, J-B Poux; F Pelous, J Thion; S Betsen, O Magne, I Harinordoquy
Replacements: Y Bru, O Milloud, O Brouzet, C Labit, G Merceron, D Traille, P Elhorga.

Fiji: N Ligairi; V Delasau, A Tuilevu, S Rabeni, R Caucaunibuca; N Little, M Rauluni; R Nyholt, G Smith, J Veitayaki; I Rawaqa, A Naevo; S Koyamaibole, K Salawa, A Doviverata (capt)
Replacements: B Gadolo, N Seru, K Leawere, V Maimuri, S Rabaka, W Serevi, M Vunibaka




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