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Les Bleus were just 12-9 ahead with 13 minutes to go before Gael Fickou, Baptiste Serin and Jefferson Poirot dotted down to secure victory against the underdogs
It was the type of inconsistent performance that followers of French rugby have seen all too frequently, breathtaking flair let down by errors
But the bonus point keeps the pressure up on old enemy England, who play Argentina on Saturday in another Pool C clash of the heavyweights
Fukuoka: France ran in three late tries against the USA on Wednesday to earn a vital bonus point in the Rugby World Cup ‘group of death’ with an erratic 33-9 win.
Les Bleus were just 12-9 ahead with 13 minutes to go before Gael Fickou, Baptiste Serin and Jefferson Poirot dotted down to secure victory against the underdogs. It was the type of inconsistent performance that followers of French rugby have seen all too frequently — breathtaking flair let down by a raft of handling errors.
France rugby team gestures to the crowd after their win over the USA in the Rugby World Cup 2019. AP
But the bonus point keeps the pressure up on old enemy England, who play Argentina on Saturday in another Pool C clash of the heavyweights.
France looked sharp at the outset, an incisive break by fly-half Camille Lopez slicing open the United States midfield after just two minutes.
And Les Bleus were on the scoreboard four minutes later, a counter-attacking move ending in a sublime Lopez chip for winger Yoann Huget to dot down for a scintillating try.
USA coach Gary Gold had called on his team to improve “every aspect” of their game after they went down to England 45-7 and the Eagles held their own for the first quarter, as AJ MacGinty scored a penalty after some pressure on the French line.
But France extended their advantage after 24 minutes when Lopez’s perfectly judged cross-field kick found Alivereti Raka in space on the right-hand touchline for a simple try.
The USA kept in the contest and slotted another penalty on the half-hour mark, again the consequence of some sustained forward pressure as France lost their flow.
Huget’s try aside, it was a patchy first-half performance from Les Bleus, a pre-match downpour and humid conditions making handling difficult. F
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