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'Very French': Wallabies fans in fits following absurd French finish

By Sam Smith

Trending on RugbyPass

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It was a case of so near yet so far for Les Bleuson Wednesday night as they came within literal seconds of a first win over the Wallabies on Australian soil since 1990.

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Whilst the Wallabies struggled to get their combinations working for the majority of the game, the French side, with a starting fifteen containing just 122 caps between them, looked like experienced and well-drilled test level competitors.

The French worked two wonderful tries for Gabin Villière early on and put the Wallabies under serious pressure with a classic Shaun Edwards defensive display. After 25 minutes Les Bleus were 15-0 up.

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The Wallabies started to pile on some attacking pressure of their own in the last ten minutes, with the introduction of Taniela Tupou and Tate McDermott from the bench proving decisive.

A missed drop goal attempt from Noah Lolesio and a Hunter Pasami crosskick drifting just wide with three minutes to go seemed to suggest a famous French win down under was on the cards. Yet, at the very last moment, that early French composure seemed to entirely disappear as heavy pressure from the Aussies at lineout time translated into the French being unable to boot the ball to the stands.

With time up on the clock, Wallaby debutant Darcy Swain was able to disrupt a French lineout and while halfback Teddy Iribaren was able to get his hands on the ball, his pass backwards found no one and McDermott pounced on the loose ball. With the Wallabies completing phase after phase, they eventually drew the penalty, allowing Lolesio to slot the three for a 23-21 win.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time a fluffed clearance has let the French down in the last 12 months. In the 2020 Six Nations, kicking the ball out prematurely saw England kick a penalty for a losing bonus point that eventually cost France the title.

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Failing to kick the ball out against Scotland in this year’s Six Nations also allowed the Scots to claim a famous victory in Paris – their first in 22 years.

Unsurprisingly social media was alive with fans revelling in the chaos of the final moments, many of whom simply couldn’t fathom how France had thrown away the victory.

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Many Australian fans were also simply pleased that their side had managed to fight their way back from an almost 80-minute deficit – a feat that showed they’re growing as a team.

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'Very French': Wallabies fans in fits following absurd French finish

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