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'We're letting ourselves down': Wallabies McDermott on loss to France

Tate McDermott of Australia, Gabin Villiere of France in action during the 2023 Summer International rugby match between France and Australia at Stade de France on August 27, 2023 in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

The Wallabies have crashed to a disappointing 41-17 loss to France in their Rugby World Cup warm-up Test in Paris, leaving them with plenty of work before their opening match against Georgia.


Coach Eddie Jones may be ruing his decision to leave a noted goal-kicker out of his starting 15, with rookie five-eighth Carter Gordon missing some crucial kicks at Stade de France.

Australia’s discipline was also a major issue, conceding 14 penalties for France to keep the points ticking over with the team continuing their winless record this year from five Tests since Jones took over.

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Halfback Tate McDermott said his team were “letting themselves down”.

“There were a couple of penalties that just relieved pressure and against a team like France, with the skill of their backs, we just gifted them field position and to their credit they capitalised on those errors,” the vice-captain told Stan Sport.

“The solutions have got to come from us – Eddie is doing his best but we’re letting ourselves down out there.

“We’ve got two weeks to find a solution for Georgia because they’re a bloody good side so we’ve got to make sure we front there.”


The Wallabies scored three tries against France’s four but never looked like beating one of the tournament favourites.

They trailed 16-5 at halftime, with Gordon leaving eight points on the field after failing with a try conversion plus two penalty kicks which meant the Wallabies couldn’t apply any scoreboard pressure.

France opened the scoring with blockbusting centre Jonathan Danty crashing over in the sixth minute off a line-out.

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Mark Nawaqanitawase was the Wallabies sole try-scorer of the first half, coming off a beautifully-worked set move, with Andrew Kellaway finding the winger with a long pass.


Les Bleus skipper Antoine Dupont set up his team’s first try of the second half with a pin-point cross-field kick into the arms of centre Damian Penaud, who added a second later in the half.

Wallabies flanker Fraser McReight dived across under the posts but France immediately replied through winger Gabin Villiere to push the lead out to a commanding 31-12.

Some positives that Australia can take from their final hit-out was their scrum, which got the better of the French through starting props Taniela Tupou and Angus Bell.

The Wallabies maul, however, was a mess and their line-out sloppy.

Former NRL star Suliasi Vunivalu, who was a shock World Cup selection, also had his best performance in the gold jumper, scoring a 77th minute try.

Heavily involved, he was unlucky to get a yellow card early in the second half after getting tangled at a ruck and pinged for going off his feet.

The Wallabies will now regroup and look ahead to their World Cup opener against Georgia, also at Stade de France, on Sunday September 10 (AEST).


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finn 3 hours ago
Why the world needs a reverse Lions tour

I think there’s a lot of reasons this wouldn’t work, but if we’re just proposing fun things how about a “World Series” held the june/july following a world cup. The teams competing each four years would be: the current world champions The Pacific Islands The British & Irish Lions The World XV Barbarians FC to ensure all teams are fairly evenly matched, the current world champions would name their squad first; then The Pacific Islands would name next, and would be able to select any pacific qualified players not selected by the world champions, including players already “captured” by non-pacific nations who would otherwise have been eligible for selection (eg. Bundee Aki); the Lions would select next; and then The World XV and Barbarians FC would be left to fight over anyone not selected. Some people will point out that 5 teams is too many for a mid-year round robin, particularly as it would be nice to have a final as well; and they would be right! But because we’re just having fun here we’re going to innovate an entirely new format for rugby, where the round robin is played in one stadium over the course of one day, with each game lasting just 40 minutes with no half time or change of ends. The round robin decides the seedings for the knockouts, which are contested by all 5 teams in one stadium over the course of one day, according to the following schedule: Knockout Round 1: seed 5 v seed 4 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Quarter Final: winner of Round 1 v seed 3 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Semi Final: winner of Quarter Final v seed 2 (contested over 1 half of indetermined length, finishing when one team reaches 7 points) ~ 10 minute break ~ Final: winner of Semi Final v seed 1 (played as a standard 80 minute rugby match) for the round robin, teams would name a 15 man starting lineup and a 16 man bench. Substitutions during games can only be made for injuries, but any number of substitutions can be made between games. The same rules apply for the finals, except that we return to having a regular 8 man bench, and would allow substitutions as normal during the 80 minute final.

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Simon 5 hours ago
Is the Six Nations balance of power shifting?

There are a few issues with the article. Despite somehow getting to a RWC semi final, England are nowhere near Probable status and should be swapped with Scotland on current form. France’s failure at RWC 23 has massively hit their mindset. Psychologically, they need a reset of gigantic proportions otherwise they will revert to, Top 14 first, international rugby an afterthought again. Ireland are allowed to play the way they are by less than acceptable officiating. Make no bones about it, with Easterby coaching, Ireland cheat, they break the rules at almost every facet of the game and generally referees, influenced by the media that Ireland are somehow playing the best rugby in the world, allow them. Scrums - Porter never pushes straight and immediately turns in. The flankers lose their binds and almost latch on to the opposition props. Rucks - they always and I mean always clear out from the side and take players out beyond the ball, effectively taking them out of being ready for the next phase. Not once do green shirts enter rucks from the rear foot. Referees should be made to look at the video of the game against Wales and see that Irish backs and forwards happily enter rucks from the side to effect a clearout, thus giving them the sub 3 second ruck speed everybody dreams about. They also stand in offside positions at rucks to ‘block’ opposing players from making clear tackles allowing the ball carrier to break the gainline almost every time. They then turn and are always ahead of play and therefore enter subsequent rucks illegally. Mauls - there is always a blocker between the ball catcher and the opposition. It is subtle but it is there. Gatland still needs to break the shackles and allow his team a bit more freedom to play rugby. He no longer has a team of 16 stone plus players who batter the gainline. He has to adapt and be more thoughtful in attack. Scotland are playing well but they have the creaky defence that leaks tries.

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