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How the Wallabies toppled France

AAP logoAAP 20/11/2016 Joe Barton

HOW THE WALLABIES SECURED VICTORY OVER FRANCE

Result: Australia defeated France 25-23

Key statistic: Zero. Australia won zero scrums - both with and against the feed - throughout the match. Having started with a back-up front row, which struggled against an imposing French pack, Australia were badly beaten up front in the opening 40 minutes. They started promisingly after the break, though crucially didn't win the ball, only to again fall apart in the crucial final ten minutes. A final scrum collapse could've gone against the visitors - and would've presented a simple, match-winning penalty.

Man of the match: It is impossible to look past the magnificent ball-hunting qualities of captain David Pocock, although his partner-in-crime Sean McMahon pushed him to the limit. Pocock's late turnover on the Wallabies tryline was the play of the match.

Quote: "Whether they were labelled as the 'equipe bis' or not first team, I was just really proud of the effort." Coach Michael Cheika hits back at criticism in the French media that he'd rested some of the Wallabies' biggest names for the match.

Injuries: Quade Cooper was a late scratching after failing a game-day fitness test on his ankle. It remains to be seen whether he will be available to face Ireland.

What's next for Wallabies? The Wallabies welcome back their big guns as they resume their pursuit of a winning grand slam with next week's clash against Ireland. The Irish pushed world champions New Zealand on Saturday in a bruising contest - a fortnight after toppling the All Blacks for the first time. They'll be an extraordinary challenge.

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