The USA lost 33-9 to France in a Pool C match at Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City on Wednesday 2 October. France held a 12-6 lead at the break. Up until the 65th minute, France held a narrow 3 point lead before erupting for three late tries.
Next for France is a match on 6 October against Tonga, while the USA faces Argentina on 9 October.
France opened the scoring with a try by wing Yoann Huget with fullback Thomas Ramos adding the extras for a 7-0 lead.
The USA placed France under pressure with the referee warning the team after multiple penalties. After a USA maul, the ball went into touch and gave France a lineout 5-meters in defense. This allowed them to clear.
The USA cut the lead to 7-3 after AJ MacGinty slotted a penalty goal.
France answered back with a cross-kick by flyhalf Camille Lopez to wing Aliverti Raka for a try in the right corner to extend the lead to 12-3.
The Eagles had a sustained attacked with multiple forward picks that reached within a meter from in-goal. After another penalty by France, MacGinty slotted another kick to cut the lead to 12-6.
A disciplined first-half performance from the USA sees them reach the break just six points down after having a greater share of possession and territory (56%).
France is lucky not to be down to 14 men after a series of try-line infringements with referee Ben O’Keeffe giving France two ‘final’ warnings. A penalty try could have easily been called prior to kicking the second penalty goal.
The penalty count in the first half had France with 8 penalties to 1 for the USA.
France kicked off to begive the second half and gathered a loose ball in the USA 22-meters. France went through thirteen phases with the USA defending well. A penalty advantage resulted in a lineout 5-meters from in-goal and a steal by Taufete’e allowed the USA to clear.
France attacked with the USA 22-meters and Tony Lamborn earned the Eagles their seventh turnover and cleared.
In the 63rd minute, MacGinty slotted a penalty goal to cut the lead to 12-9.
Four minutes later, France went through 15 phases with Gaël Fickou scoring and Camile Lopez converting to push the lead to 19-7. France quickly capitalized on a USA turnover with a Baptiste Serin try and Lopez conversion to break open a close match, 26-9.
Greg Peterson had a line break to the France 22-meters, but lost the ball forward, resulting in a France scrum.
France had a sustained attack before the USA was penalized for not releasing the ball in the breakdown. They then attacked from a lineout 6-meters from in-goal and mauled with Jefferson Poirot scoring and Camille Lopez adding the extras for a 33-9 victory.
France earned a bonus-point win and trail first-place England by one point in the standings.
The USA kept the match to within 3 points for the first 65 minutes. They had France pressing until the dam broke with two quick tries in the 66th and 69th minutes.
During the first half, it was surprising that France did not lose a man after 8 penalties and perhaps could have had a penalty try.
Gael Fickou earned his 50th cap and Camille Lopez was named Player of the Match for France.
Squads & Match Preview
France: 1. Cyril Baille 2. Camille Chat 3. Emerick Setiano 4. Bernard Le Roux 5. Paul Gabrillagues 6. Arthur Iturria 7. Yacouba Camara 8. Louis Picamoles (capt.) 9. Maxime Machenaud 10. Camille Lopez 11. Yoann Huget 12. 13. Sofiane Guitoune 14. Alivereti Raka 15. Thomas Ramos 16. Guilhem Guirado 17. Jefferson Poirot 18. Rabah Slimani 19. Sebastien Vahaamahina 20. Gregory Alldritt 21. Baptiste Serin 22. Romain Ntamack 23. Maxime Medard
USA: 1. Eric Fry 2. Joe Taufetee 3. Titi Lamositele 4. Nate Brakeley 5. Nick Civetta 6. Tony Lamborn 7. Hanco Germishuys 8. Cam Dolan 9. Shaun Davies 10. AJ MacGinty 11. Martin Iosefo 12. Bryce Campbell 13. Marcel Brache 14. Blaine Scully (capt.) 15. Mike Teo 16. Dylan Fawsitt 17. Olive Kilifi 18. Paul Mullen 19. Greg Peterson 20. Ben Pinkelman 21. Ruben de Haas 22. Will Magie 23. Thretton Palamo