Saturday, October 1, 2011

RUGBY WORLD CUP: France v Tonga, Pool A


Venue: Regional Stadium, Australia

Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)

France have been generally disappointing in their matches to date. The rumblings within the team seem to indicate a level of discontent and the coach’s relationship with the media shall we say. Despite this it would be a foolish punter to write this team off.

Today they face a Tongan side disappointed with the Rugby World Cup results to date. The loss to Canada was the low point. A win today would be a major upset but that is what Tonga needs to do to keep their cup hopes alive. I can’t see it happening.

Wellington has a sizeable Tongan population. You can expect scenes similiar to those in Auckland on opening night in which red was the dominant colour. You can also expect the Tongans to go out with a bang. The French will need to work very hard to keep this team at bay.

Previous Encounters
19.11.2005 France 43-8 in Toulouse
16.06.1999 Tonga 20-16 in Nukuálofa
26.05.1995 France 38-10 in Pretoria (World Cup)

France This World Cup
10.09.2011 v Japan W 47-21 in Albany
18.09.2011 v Canada W 46-19 in Napier
24.09.2011 v New Zealand L 17-37 in Auckland

Tonga This World Cup
09.09.2011 v New Zealand L 10-41 in Auckland
14.09.2011 v Canada L 20-25 in Whangarei
21.09.2011 v Japan W 31-18 in Whangarei

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-France 7th, Tonga 12th

IRB Ranking Points
France 83.72, Tonga 72.63

Prediction:France by 18 points



15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir,Capt. 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Imanol Harinordoquy, 20 Francois Trinh-Duc, 21 Fabrice Estebanez, 22 Cédric Heymans.
Head Coach: Marc Lievremont


15 Vungakoto Lilo, 14 Viliame Iongi, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Andrew Ma’ilei,
11 Sukanaivalu Hufanga, 10 Kurt Morath, 9 Taniela Moa, 8 Viliami Ma’afu,
7 Finau Maka,Capt. 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Paino Hehea, 4 Tukulua Lokotui,
3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Soane Tonga’uiha.
16 Ephraim Taukafa, 17 Alisona Taumalolo, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Joseph Tuineau, 20 Samiu Vahafolau, 21 Samisoni Fisilau, 22 Alipate Fatafehi
Head Coach: 'Isitolo Maka

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