France survive Uruguay scare to win
France backed up their opening night win over New Zealand with a highly entertaining 27-12 victory over Uruguay as the inspired Rugby World Cup outsiders made the second-string hosts work desperately hard for their points while scoring two fine tries on Thursday at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.
Uruguay stunned the home fans when Nicolas Freitas scooped up a loose ball to score the opening try after six minutes and though Antoine Hastoy and the boot of Melvyn Jaminet edged France clear, they were lucky to lead 13-5 at half time after a second try for the visitors by Felipe Etcheverry was harshly ruled out for obstruction. They were not to be denied 13 minutes after the break though as Baltazar Amaya scored a brilliant try that Etcheverry converted to bring Uruguay, playing with remarkable confidence, within a point.
France, struggling with discipline all night, hit back quickly with a try by Peato Mauvaka but were still unable to take command and managed only one more, for Louis Bielle-Biarrey, meaning they missed out on a four-try bonus point and will hope to play better in remaining Pool ‘A’ fixtures against Namibia and Italy.
Hosts France next face Namibia on September 21, at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille while Uruguay are next in action vs Italy on September 20, for their third Pool ‘A’ match, at the Stade de Nice. (C.D)