France A clip Teros' wings
France A moved one step closer to their goal of raising the Churchill Cup, when they recorded an emphatic win over Uruguay at Infinity Park in Colorado on Wednesday.
Leading by 21 points at half-time, the French took it to Uruguay in their tournament debut, eventually pulling ahead to a 43-10 victory.
Flank Antoine Battut led the way for the French with two tries, while captain Benjamin Kayser also chipped in a score from the pack. The France backline put up 28 points on the day.
From the very start, Uruguay found themselves on the back foot, fending off the French. However, Los Teros could only ward off France A for so long. By the 12th minute, the French consummate their efforts by touching down their first try.
Uruguay continued to fight hard against the French attack, but to no avail. France A scored three more tries before they committed a penalty within Uruguay striking distance in the 37th minute. Uruguay used the opportunity get on the board, 24-3, at the break.
In the first 25 minutes of the second half, France A showed similar offensive domination, although Uruguay was a bit more diligent in their defense, only allowing 19 points by the French team.
Uruguay made some headway in the final 20 minutes. With their side down by 40 points, Uruguay built some momentum with a near-try in the 55th minute. Los Teros finally found some space and made several good attacks at the goal-line as time wound down. Eventually, in the 71st minute, Uruguay was able to touch down their first try, bringing the score to 43-10 where it remained until the buzzer.
France A will now see a short, four-day turnaround before it plays Canada on Sunday, June 13. And although the scoreline suggests a result the French can be pleased with, in fact, France A is now more determined to get back to the drawing board as ever.
"I was not very happy with our performance," France A Coach, Fabian Pelous said. "We committed a lot of penalties and made a lot of mistakes. We are happy about winning, but not so happy about the game. We will have to work hard on some things in order to win against Canada."
Earlier in the day, England Saxons also kicked off their 2010 Churchill Cup outing with a big win over Russia, 49-17.
Flyhalf Stephen Myler had a breakout day at Infinity Park and led the Saxons with 19 points, accurately converting sevens tries, including one of his own at minute 57.
Tom Varndell dotted down a pair of tries, while Andy Saull, Luke Narraway and Micky Young had one each.
The Russians hung close early on and trailed just 28-14 at the break, but the Bears were held nearly scoreless in the second half, save for a penalty kick from Yury Kushnarev with just more than 20 minutes left to play.
England Saxons Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: "I'm really pleased with that result. We had one or two errors which let Russia into the match, but on the whole it was a good performance under tough conditions.
"You can't fault Russia's effort, they are a tough side and they've done well to come off the back of playing USA last weekend. We have to do the same and backup today's performance against the hosts on Sunday and that begins with getting our recovery right."
Following Wednesday's match, the England Saxons must now turn their focus to the USA Eagles. The two teams square off on Sunday, June 13,.
Results and scorers:
England Saxons 49-17 Russia
For England Saxons:
Tries: Andy Saull, Nick Abendanon, Luke Narraway, Tom Varndell 2, Micky Young, Stephen Myler
Cons: Myler 7
Try: Vasily Artemyev
Pens: Yury Kushnarev 4
France A 43-Uruguay 10
For France A:
Tries: Benjamin Kayser, Antoine Battut 2, Julien Dupuy, Yohan Audrin, Henry Chavancy, Floria Cazenave
Cons: Jonathan Wisniewksi 4
Try: Edgardo Benitez
Con: Emiliano Caffera
Pools and schedule:
Pool A: Canada, France A, Uruguay
Pool B: England Saxons, Russia, USA
England Saxons v USA
Canada vs France A