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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 08:00 GMT
Live: France 41-14 USA

All the action from the Pool B match in Wollongong.


68 mins: After the sensational start to the second half the match is tailing off. The Americans look tired and the French second string look to be losing interest.

63 mins: Yachvili ignores men outside him and opts for a drop goal.
France 41-14 USA

58 mins: The match is a million miles away from the increasingly dull contest at the end of the first 40. America may be out of it, but both teams are looking to run the ball from all angles.

53 mins: Skipper Bru is clean through for another try to make it four in 10 minutes. Merceron adds the points.
France 38-14 USA

50 mins: Now it's America on the attack. Riaan van Zyl and Mike MacDonald go close, but Hercus gets over. A little show of the ball and he is through a gap. He adds the conversion.
France 31-14 USA

48 mins: Substitute Sylvain Marconnet's barreling run is held up on the line. Recycled ball is worked down the line and Liebenberg is on hand for his hat-trick try and the bonus-point. Merceron's kick is at the mercy of the wind again and misses.
France 31-7 USA

43 mins: The USA tap and go with a penalty and get on the scoreboard, the tried and tested combination of Mike Hercus and Kort Schubert - fly-half and flanker - getting the try. A Hercus show and dummy frees space for Schubert to go over when he does get the ball. Hercus adds the conversion.
France 26-7 USA

41 mins: Salesi Sika goes close to the line and Buccholz, in support, is held up inches short.

0935 GMT: The match is back underway and the Americans are playing with renewed spirit.


40 mins: Merceron slots an easy penalty after an infringement at the scrum.
France 26-0 USA

38 mins: Pepito Elhorga intercepts a pass to score France's fourth try - or so he thinks. Referee Paul Honiss calls him back for an earlier knock-on by skipper Yannick Bru.

36 mins: The Americans are in trouble up front, with their scrum back-pedalling - fast.

34 mins: Not for long mind. The French forwards stick it up their jumper, rumble over the line and prop Jean-Baptitste Poux claims the score. Merceron's having trouble with the gusting wind and misses the conversion.
France 23-0 USA

32 mins: Without their first-choice eight or nine, a lack of American organisation could gift the French some easy points, but the Eagles regroup and hold their opponents at bay.

30 mins: Another silky run from Poitrenaud almost sets up a third French try, but scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili is tackled into touch as he dives over.

29 mins: Now Dalzell's in a spot of bother. The diminuitive number nine, back on after his breif visit to the blood bin, is struggling with a knock to his back. Moses Timotei is on for good this time.

27 mins: Lyle's back down and receiving treatment after taking a double hit in the tackle. Jurie Gouws comes on for the dazed Leicester number eight.

24 mins: A lot of huff and puff from the Americans but they are repeatedly blown away by the French who can always rely on a big boot and the wind to clear their lines.

21 mins: The American's go well again from the re-start and win a penalty under the posts after hands in the ruck. They opt to tap and it almost pays off. A double tackle on David Fee forces the winger out in the corner.

19 mins: Another take against the head and another try for Liebenberg. The ball goes through eight pairs of hands and the South African-born centre is over in almost the identical spot to his first try. Merceron lands the kick from the left touchline this time.
France 18-0 USA

16 mins: The USA have a dozen players who have started all four pool matches, but changes could be on the cards. Scrum-half Kevin Dalzell is off with a blood injury. Lyle, who hit his head hard on the turf after the re-start - think David Giffin - is given the all-clear to carry on after receiving treatment.

15 mins: Dan Lyle claims the ball from the re-start and the USA put France under some rare pressure, but before long they are back in their own 22.

14 mins: Poitrenaud's off again. Another sensational solo run at the heart of the American defence and a quick recycle gives centre Brian Liebenberg a score in the corner. Merceron's conversion attempt bends wide.
France 11-0 USA

11 mins: A beautiful counter-attacking run by Clement Poitrenaud puts the USA back under pressure after a clearance kick.

10 mins: French pressure tells and Merceron lands another penalty.
France 6-0 USA

8 mins: Another slight error plays into French hands. Buchholz tries to flip a kick back into touch, but only succeeds in knocking it out.

6 mins: Things are not quite going right for the Americans. A wonky line-out throw and France can relieve the pressure in their own 22.

2 mins: The Americans are caught off-side having lost a put-in against the head. Merceron slots the points.
France 3-0 USA

0837 GMT: Gerald Merceron starts the match with the Eagles having won the toss. The French are playing with the gusting wind.

0832 GMT: It is anthem time. A rousing rendition of La Marseillaise causes a few tears to be shed in the French line-up. The Americans are more stoical singing along to a sedate version of the Star Spangled Banner.

0830 GMT: The players are out at the Win Stadium in Wollongong on a breezy evening.

France coach Bernard Laporte is giving his second string a run out in Wollongong.

He has picked an entirely new starting XV from the side that overwhelmed Scotland 51-9 and sealed a quarter-final spot.

The USA are aiming for their second victory of the campaign after beating Japan.

Full-back John Buchholz makes his first start of the World Cup, while second row Alec Parker returns in the pack after suffering mild concussion.


France: C Poitrenaud; P Elhorga, B Liebenberg, D Traille, D Bory; G Merceron, D Yachvili; O Miloud, Y Bru, JB Poux, D Aradou, O Brouzet (capt), S Chabal, P Tabacco, C Labit.
Replacements: R Ibanez, S Marconnet, J Thion, O Magne, F Michalak, Y Jauzion, A Rougerie.

USA: J Buchholz; D Fee, P Eloff, S Sika, R van Zyl; M Hercus, K Dalzel; M MacDonald, K Khasigian, D Dorsey, A Parker, L Gross, K Schubert, D Hodges (capt), D Lyle.
Replacements: M Wyatt, J Waasdorp, G Klerck, J Gouws, M Sherman, J Keyter, M Timoteo.




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