France beat Fiji to book place in Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-finals

Les Bleues ran in seven tries at the Northland Events Centre to secure a bonus-point victory that takes them through to the last eight as at least fourth seeds.

France ran in seven tries in Whangārei to secure a 44-0 victory against Fiji that sends them into the Rugby World Cup 2021 quarter-finals as at least fourth seeds.

Both teams started the match knowing that a win would book their place in the quarter-finals, most likely as Pool C runners-up.

It was Les Bleues who controlled proceedings virtually from the first whistle, however, as they built a three-try 20-0 lead by half-time.

France made sure of a try-scoring bonus-point midway through the second half when Maëlle Filopon crossed the whitewash for the second time and added another three tries to see out a comfortable victory.

The bonus-point win takes France to 11 competition points, meaning they cannot be caught by Italy or the USA and if England beat South Africa on Sunday, they will start the quarter-finals as fourth seeds.

Fiji needed at least a bonus point to have any chance to reaching the quarter-finals and defeat therefore brings an end to their Rugby World Cup 2021 campaign.

It took France less than eight minutes to score the opening try of the match as a period of pressure close to the line created space for Marine Ménager to score in the left corner.

Fiji stood firm in face of French pressure for the rest of the opening quarter but slipped further behind in the 21st minute when Jessy Trémoulière sent a penalty through the uprights.

Less than two minutes later Fijiana were reduced to 14 players for 10 minutes after full-back Roela Radiniyavuni was sent to the sin bin.

Les Bleues took full advantage just over five minutes later as Melissandre Llorens touched down in the right corner. Trémoulière then added an impressive conversion to stretch the French lead to 15 points.

Fiji coach Senirusi Seruvakula responded by making a change at scrum-half, replacing Ana Maria Roqica with Lavena Cavuru, but it did little to stem the tide of French attacks.

On the stroke of half-time, Pauline Bourdon took a quick tap and after Laure Touye had carried towards the line, the ball was spun towards the right wing where Filopon dotted down.

The game remained scoreless for the first 16 minutes of the second half, until France breached the whitewash for a fourth time.

It was Filopon who touched down again, following good work from number eight Emeline Gros, to give Les Bleues the bonus point they craved.

Gros grabbed a try of her own six minutes later and France would apply some gloss to the scoreline in the final 10 minutes as Emilie Boulard and Célia Domain touched down.

That last France try came against 14 players after Radiniyavuni received her second yellow card of the match and was subsequently sent off.

Last updated: Oct 22, 2022, 11:31:27 PM
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