The Wallabies have arrived in Paris looking to make a statement against the World Cup favourites.
They left ruining what could have been a famous victory as France broke the hearts of Dave Rennie’s men, claiming a 30-29 win at the venue for next year’s World Cup final.
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After a ding-dong battle at the Stade de France, France delivered the killing blow four minutes from time as Damian Penaud raced down the right touchline and showed his elusiveness to overtake Tom Wright and Jock Campbell to mark.
“Pretty broken if I’m being honest. Losing like we did, pretty broken,” Campbell said.
When asked where it went wrong for the Wallabies, Campbell didn’t deflect the answer.
“Just the last tackle. I just missed a tackle at the end me and Tommy (Wright) and it really comes down to that,” he said.
“I have to take it on the chin and move on.”
Former Wallabies star Drew Mitchell says the gallant defeats weren’t enough.
“Let’s not celebrate the reconciliation, they should have won this,” Mitchell said in a comment.
“We should be celebrating a win here.”
Mitchell isn’t wrong.
The Wallabies have been in countless Tests throughout the year but have found ways to lose.
From not starting the lineout directly against England to not kicking the ball against the All Blacks, the Wallabies let the Tests slip through their fingers.
Rennie’s men have only themselves to blame, handing out numerous penalties for lack of discipline during the breakdown.
This continued against the French, who dominated the fan contest.
Their struggles in the breakdown, particularly the attacking ruck, come a week after Scotland crushed Australia in the area.
It was by no means catastrophic.
The Wallabies attacking group withstood the challenge from the French for the majority of the event, with Taniela Tupou having a strong comeback in the starting line-up. While Rob Valetini, except for his terrible left kick which gave possession back to France, showed his physicality.
French lock Will Skelton also made a strong comeback for the Wallabies in his first test in nearly a year.
Half-back Nic White enjoyed a solid first half before the French attackers began to disrupt his ball from the base of the ruck, just as Scotland had done to Tate McDermott a week earlier, while Campbell scored a try and showed he belonged in international rugby.
Lalakai Foketi also completed a superb coast-to-coast try but was forced off midway through the first half with what appeared to be a shin injury.
The Wallabies got off to a good start as Foley scored the first points in the third minute.
Three minutes later, Thomas Ramos scored consecutive penalties, before Foley put the Wallabies level.
France were denied a try to flank Charles Ollivion for a double move.
Under further pressure, the Wallabies turned defense into attack as they scored an incredible coast-to-coast try as Wright got outside Penaud before coming back with Campbell who in turn scored. found Foketi.
But the Wallabies’ good work was undone as Ramos netted two more penalties before the half-time disaster as Foley’s pass center fielder hit the bridge and France surged.
After Gael Fickou took the lead, the Wallabies regained the ball through Andrew Kellaway but the French counter-rucked and moments later scored through hooker Julien Marchand to take a 19-13 lead at halftime. time.
The two teams traded penalties early in the second half before Campbell scored.
The Wallabies looked set to win when Reece Hodge, arriving late for Foley, netted a 75th-minute penalty.
But poor defending saw Penaud steal victory and see France claim their 11th straight Test win to continue their march to next year’s World Cup.
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