PARIS - Australia has fallen at the first hurdle in their quest for an undefeated European tour with the Wallabies beaten-up 33-6 by a rampant French side at Stade de France in Paris.
The Wallabies had no answers to the powerful and flamboyant home side on Saturday night (Sunday Fiji time) with the French scoring three tries to none, with one of those France tries a penalty try after the Australian scrum collapsed.
No.8 Louis Picamoles, who was among the tryscorers, and five-eighth Frederic Michalak were outstanding for the French. The veteran No.10 slotting 15 points, as France gained some revenge for their record 59-16 loss to the Wallabies last time they clashed at Stade de France in 2010.
The Australian scrum was dominated by the French who also punched holes up the middle of the Wallabies' defence all night.
Picamoles scored the first try of the match in the 12th minute when he broke from a scrum right on the Wallabies line, with the No.8 strolling down the blindside to score a very soft try, although there was a hint of obstruction in it. It was the only try of the first half with the rest of the points for the French coming from man of the match Michalak, who slotted two penalty goals, a conversion and a drop goal to make it 16-6 at halftime with Australia's only points coming from two penalty goals to Mike Harris.
France continued where they left off in the first half by punching holes in the Australian line.
They scored their second try of the night in the 54th minute through winger Wesley Fofana who finished a near 50 metre effort.
The try came from a counter attack after Kurtley Beale failed to find touch with a kick and the ball was shifted to Michalak who stepped the Australian No.10 before finding Fofana who did the rest to score the converted try to make it 23-6.
France were awarded a penalty try in the 63rd minute after Australia collapsed a scrum five metres out from their tryline.
Adam Ashley-Cooper was held up over the line in the dying minutes as the Wallabies failed to score a try for the second successive Test.