Tue, Sep 18, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Hosts France show Namibia no mercy

'THE CAVEMAN' Sebastian Chabal's first try, which took the France past the 50 mark, got the loudest roar of the night as the caught a crosskick and touched down

AFP , TOULOUSE, FRANCE

Finau Maka, right, leads a Tongan charge against the Samoan defense during their Rugby World Cup Pool A match at the La Mosson Stadium in Montpellier, France, on Sunday.

PHOT: AP

AFP, TOULOUSE, France

Hosts France showed no mercy to 14-man Namibia on Sunday as they got some vital momentum for Friday's crucial Pool D World Cup clash with Ireland, winning 87-10 to post their record score in international rugby.

Vincent Clerc ran in three tries, while lock Jerome Nallet and Sebastian Chabal grabbed a brace each -- captain for the night Jean-Baptiste Elissalde scored 27 points to easily beat their 77-10 defeat of Fiji in 2001.

It was also a fitting riposte to their stunning 17-12 opening game loss to Argentina.

Cedric Heymans scored their first try -- his 10th for France -- in the seventh minute after a quick passing movement by David Marty to Frederic Michalak and left the Toulouse winger with the simple task of running it in. Elissalde missed the conversion.

However, Namibia were unfazed and came straight back as Emile Wessels dropped an excellent drop goal to make the score 5-3 in the 10th minute.

Marty ran in the hosts second try after a flowing move down the pitch and Elissalde converted to make it 12-3. Namibia's woes deepened as Wessels had to be helped off the pitch limping after just 11 minutes.

Namibia's task was made even tough in the 20th minute when referee Alain Rolland red carded Jacques Nieuwenhuis for a high tackle on Chabal and within a minute the French had driven over and Thierry Dusautoir touched down. Elissalde kicked the conversion for 19-3.

France were still making schoolboy errors highlighted when Michalak flung a wild pass inside the tryline to Marty, who had already made a series of mistakes, knocked on and was fortunate a Namibian was not on hand to touch it down.

Nallet added their fourth try just after the half hour mark, though, Rolland missed a forward pass by Damien Traille earlier in the move but nevertheless the lock's touchdown pushed France over the 1,000 points mark in World Cup history. Elissalde kicked the conversion.

Heymans then set up fellow Toulouse winger Clerc, who touched down under the posts and Elissalde duly converted as the French made the most of their one man advantage. Nallet added his second on the stroke of halftime after Chabal offloaded to him.

Julien Bonnaire added France's seventh try seven minutes after the break as the French scrum pushed their opposite numbers over the tryline. Elissalde converted to make it 47-3.

The biggest roar of the night was reserved for French lock Chabal.

His first try which took the French past the 50 mark came as the player known as "The Caveman" caught a crosskick and touched down.

Five minutes later he broke just inside the opposition's half and burst through the Namibian defense, handed off one player, broke a tackle and handed off another to touch down.

Other tries came from Elissalde, Clerc from a nicely worked move for his second, before he added his third, again aided by Heymans, and Raphael Ibanez.

Namibia, though, had the last laugh as student and center Bradley Langenhoven intercepted a pass from Yannick Jauzion and ran it back from inside his own half to touch down and they converted to give them a meagre consolation.

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