France's Yoann Huget (left) and Yannick Forestier react at
the end of their team's rugby test match against Samoa at
the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris.
Photo by Reuters.
France completed a treble of November victories when a
ruthless performance by Frederic Michalak helped them beat
Samoa 22-14 at the Stade de France.
In a match locked firmly in a battle between forwards,
flyhalf Michalak scored a try and kicked 14 points as Les
Bleus added to their victories against Australia and
The victory also helps France to consolidate fourth place in
the IRB rankings ahead of the 2015 World Cup draw.
Samoa's power troubled France throughout the match with David
Lemi and Joe Tekori scoring tries both of which were
converted by Tusi Pisi.
The visitors were 10-7 down at halftime but led briefly in
the second half until Michalak made the most of a mistake
with his boot.
Samoa made a solid start to proceedings by destroying the
French in an early scrum and in the 15th minute had the lead
when Robert Lilomaiava tapped the ball smartly into the path
of Lemi who grounded between the posts unchallenged.
Michalak responded for France when he charged down a
clearance and made a beeline for the posts, slotting home the
resulting conversion to make it 7-7.
Scrumhalf Morgan Parra then missed a routine penalty before
making up for the miss two minutes later as France held a
slender three-point lead at halftime.
Samoa's pure strength forced a second try as lock Tekori
touched down, but credit also went to Kahn Fotuali'i who got
the visitors to within inches of the line thanks to a speedy
France were far too clumsy as Samoa fought bravely to hold on
to their lead. However, a scrum infringement gave Michalak a
penalty opportunity which he slotted to get France back to
within one point.
Les Bleus regained the lead thanks to another Michalak
penalty 10 minutes from time and he finally wrapped up the
win when he sent through his fourth penalty after Taiasina
Tuifua went off his feet at the ruck.