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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Clockwatch: France 51-29 Japan

All the action from the Pool B match in Townsville.

80 mins: Referee Allan Lewis blows his whistle for the final time to bring an entertaining match to a conclusion.
FT: France 51-29 Japan

75 mins: Neat interplay between French backs and forwards forces Japan to infringe close to their own line. France run the penalty and replacement prop Jean-Jacques Crenca forces his way over. Replacement Gerald Merceron converts.
France 51-29 Japan

69 mins: Japan score a cracking second try when full-back Toru Kurihara draws the remaining French defence to send Daisuke Ohata in at the right corner. Kurihara adds the conversion.
France 44-29 Japan

66 mins: France score their fifth try when wing Aurelien Rougerie barges through four Japanese tackles to grab his second. Frederic Michalak again adds the extras.
France 44-22 Japan

65 mins: France centre Damien Traillie makes a great break but again the move breaks down metres from the line.

63 mins: Full-back Toru Kurihara keeps Japan in touch with his fifth penalty.
France 37-22 Japan

60 mins: Another try goes begging when Christophe Dominici fails to hold Frederic Michalak's clever chip to the left corner.

59 mins: France threaten a fifth try but the move breaks down when Olivier Brouzet knocks on Serge Betsen's pass.

55 mins: Japan concede a penalty for hands in a ruck and Frederic Michalak is successful with the kick at goal.
France 37-19 Japan

50 mins: France secure a bonus point when Fabien Galthie and Damien Traille combine to send Christophe Dominici on an angled run to the line. Frederic Michalak converts to give France a 15-point cushion.
France 34-19 Japan

49 mins: French full-back Clement Poitrenaud shows searing pace with a great counter attack from his own half, only for Tony Marsh to drop the ball metres from the Japanese line.

47 mins: France opt to kick a penalty to touch and after OIivier Brouzet wins the line-out, fellow second row Fabien Pelous drives over for a third French try. Frederic Michalak adds the conversion.
France 27-19 Japan

45 mins: Japan move to within a point of France as full-back Toru Kurihara lands another well-struck penalty.
France 20-19 Japan

43 mins: Japan lock Hiroyuki Tanuma is forced to leave the field injured, and is replaced by Kouichi Kubo.

42 mins: A wayward pass from France captain Fabien Galthiť fails to find Olivier Magne and Andrew Miller's neat grubber kick takes Japan into the French 22.

1102 BST: Japan fly-half Andrew Miller kicks off the second half.


First half:

40 mins: Japan move the ball swiftly along their backline and wing Daisuke Ohata launches a chip-and-chase which forces France to concede another penalty. Toru Kurihara maintains his 100% record to put the underdogs within striking distance.
HT: France 20-16 Japan

38 mins: France threaten a third try but Frederic Michalak loses the ball in the tackle, allowing Andrew Miller to launch an excellent clearing kick.

35 mins: The crowd at the Dairy Farmers Stadium are on their feet again as Japan launch another scintillating attack, but this time without reward.

33 mins: Japan hit back as George Konia collects centre partner Hideki Namba's pass at pace and evades Christophe Dominici's tackle to score his side's first try. Toru Kurihara adds the conversion to bring Japan to within seven points.
France 20-13 Japan

29 mins: France send lock Fabien Pelous steaming through a hole in the Japanese midfield, but over-exuberance gets the better of them as they again infringe at a ruck.

26 mins: France captain Fabien Galthiť launches a high kick which Japan fail to deal with, conceding a penalty which Frederic Michalak slots.
France 20-6 Japan

24 mins: Japan launch a counter-attack after a handling mistake by Michalak but with a four-on-one overlap beckoning left wing Hirotoki Onozawa drops the ball.

23 mins: Frederic Michalak lines up a penalty but his attempt drifts narrowly wide.

21 mins: Another promising French move breaks down when full-back Clement Poitrenaud's pass is dropped by Aurelien Rougerie.

19 mins: France drive forward menacingly into the Japanese half only for a knock-on to halt their momentum, allowing Japan fly-half Andrew Miller to clear.

16 mins: Forwards Serge Betsen and Fabien Pelous move ball swiftly along the French line and Japan are forced to concede a penalty, which Frederic Michalak promptly dispatches.
France 17-6 Japan

13 mins: France charge deep into Japanese territory only to concede a penalty for coming in at the side of a ruck.

10 mins: A break from fly-half Andrew Miller puts Japan back on the offensive, and France concede a penalty. Toru Kurihara is again successful with the kick at goal.
France 14-6 Japan

7 mins: France double their tally with a second try in two minutes, as right wing Aurelien Rougerie steps off his flank on an angled run to the line. Frederic Michalak slots the conversion in front of the posts.
France 14-3 Japan

5 mins: France hit back immediately as a break from number eight Christian Labit splits the Japanese defence and from quickly recycled ball, Frederic Michalak darts over. The stand-off also adds the conversion.
France 7-3 Japan

3 mins: France win turnover ball but go over the top at the ruck to give Japan a kickable penalty. Toru Kurihara slots the kick from 40m to give the underdogs the lead.
France 0-3 Japan

1 min: Michalak launches a high kick but Japan full-back Toru Kurihara makes a solid catch under pressure.

1006 BST: France fly-half Frederic Michalak gets the first half underway.


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

Japan team: T Kurihara; D Ohata, G Konia, H Namba, H Onozawa; A Miller, Y Sonoda; S Hasegawa, M Sakata, R Yamamura, H Tanuma, A Parker, N Okubo, T Miuchi (capt), T Ito
Replacements: M Yamamoto, M Amino, K Kubo, R Asano, T Tsuji, Y Motoki, T Yoshida





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