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Penaud on song as France extend their winning streak to 13 matches

By PA
(Photo by Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)

Damian Penaud scored two tries for France as they beat Japan 35-17 at the Municipal Stadium in Toulouse to extend their unbeaten run to 13 games. Next year’s World Cup hosts, who were without suspended captain Antoine Dupont, scored four tries on Sunday to two for the visitors.

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Stand-in skipper Charles Ollivon and Anthony Jelonch crossed for the other two French tries and Thomas Ramos kicked three penalties and three conversions. Japan’s tries came in the second half from Naoto Saito and Siosaia Fifita with Seungsin Lee slotting over two conversions and a penalty.

The victory rounded off an Autumn Nations Series for France in which they also scored wins over Australia and South Africa. France scored their first try of the game six minutes in when Romain Ntamack grubber kicked to Penaud on the wing and he kicked the ball past the Japan defence to touch down.

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Japan were proving difficult to break down but conceded three penalties in the first half which  Ramos converted to put more points on the board for the hosts. Les Bleus then got their second try of the game in the 35th minute when Maxime Lucu broke forward from a lineout and passed to captain Ollivon who grounded for France to go into the break leading 21-3.

Saito scored Japan’s first try just one minute into the second half after breaking through the French defence.

A quick break from Matthieu Jalibert saw a good team move finished off by Penaud to add his second try of the game in the 59th minute, but Japan pulled a try back just three minutes later with Fifita crossing from a lineout.

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Jelonch added France’s fourth and final try of the game in the 72nd minute to secure their undefeated status for 2022.

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