Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: France 27-12 Uruguay

Melvyn Jaminet of France scores a conversion during the Rugby World Cup game against Uruguay
Melvyn Jaminet of France scores a conversion during the Rugby World Cup game against Uruguay
©Photo by David Ramos - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

France 27-12 Uruguay, Pool A, Stade Pierre-Mauroy

France maintained their winning start in the Rugby World Cup after they managed to overcome a spirited Uruguay side 27-12 in their Pool A clash at Stade Pierre-Mauroy on Thursday.

The Les Bleus made a whopping 12 changes to their starting line with Antony Jelonch returning successfully from an injury to captain the side.

The home side got off the mark inside the first five minutes as Uruguay collapsed a scrum allowing Melvyn Jaminet to land a penalty goal but Uruguay struck back almost immediately when the French fly-half failed to collect a cross-field kick allowing Nicolas Freitas to go over for the opening try making it 3-5.

France seized the lead back in the 11th minute as Antoine Hastoy sped past the defence of Uruguay to dot down and Jaminet followed with a conversion and a penalty goal in the 16th minute to extend the gap to 13-5.

There was a nervy moment for the hosts when Romain Taofifenua was sin-binned just before the half-hour mark or a no-arms tackle direct to the head of Santiago Arata but to France's relief it was not upgraded to a red card in the bunker review system even though it looked a close call.

With the numerical advantage on their side, Uruguay tried to step up the ante and came close with Felipe Etcheverry speeding to the try line but was not awarded as the TMO spotted an obstruction from Tomas Inciarte in the build up as they trailed the opening half with a 13-5 margin.

France had an opportunity to extend their lead but Jaminet's kick drifted wide in the 49th minute and shortly Gabin Villiere's try was disallowed by the TMO for a forward pass in the build up. The pressure mounted on France as Amaya pierced through the French defence to touchdown and Etcheverry kicked the conversion to make it a one point game.

With a tense final 30 minutes set up, Peato Mauvaka gave some relief for Fabien Galthie's men after capitalising on an error from Etcheverry, who tried to clear the ball as they got their second try and Jaminet improved to make it 20-12.

Even though Uruguay tried to find a breakthrough in the closing stage, France held their nerve and any chance of a comeback from the visitors was put off with Louis Bielle Biarrey powering over the line to seal a thrilling win as they climb to the top position in the table with two wins from as many games.

Points Table:

World Rugby Top 10 Rankings:


Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 France 2 2 0 8
2 Italy 1 1 0 5
3 New Zealand 1 0 1 0
4 Uruguay 1 0 1 0
5 Namibia 1 0 1 0

What's Next:

France will be facing Namibia next in Marseille on 21st September with Italy lined up in their last game of the opening round on 6th October in Lyon while Uruguay will be facing Italy next on Wednesday.


France general manager Raphael Ibanez credited Uruguay for pushing his team throughout the game.

"Credit to Uruguay," he said. "They played with so much passion and heart.

"It was a hard battle but it is a second win for us in this competition and that is what is most important. We made some mistakes with the ball in hand and it was difficult for us to play with a good structure. We didn't take the points at the end of the first half - it's a World Cup game - and we will learn from that.

"The good thing about this competition, playing in France, is the crowd, the amazing atmosphere. It gives a lot of energy to the players so thanks to the fans."

Uruguay captain Andres Vilaseca was pleased by his side's performance against France.

"It has been a very difficult match," said Lucu.

"We tried to set the pace, but we couldn’t manage to score. We're happy with the performance and the fact that we won in front of our fans. The tournament continues."

Team line up:

France: Jaminet; Bielle-Biarrey, Vincent, Moefana, Villiere; Hastoy, Lucu; Gros, Bourgarit, Aldegheri, Woki, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Macalou, Jelonch (capt).

Reserves: Mauvaka, Wardi, Falatea, Chalureau, Flament, Cros, Couilloud, Ramos.

Uruguay: Amaya; Basso, Inciarte, Vilaseca (capt), Freitas; Etcheverry, Arata; Sanguinetti, Pujadas, Peculo, Aliaga, Leindekar, Ardao, Civetta, Diana.

Reserves: Gattas, Benitez, Piussi, Dotti, Bianchi, Deus, Ormaechea, Berchesi.