As it happened: France v Canada

Les Bleus took on the Canucks in the Pool A clash in a wet Napier.

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Full time: France 46 Canada 19

Good morning and welcome to our Sunday morning service. France and Canada are up and running in a miserable-looking Napier after some rousing anthems.

And surprisingly, Canada have taken an early lead through the boot of Pritchard. As David Attenborough might say: let’s see what happens.

TRY! That’s soft. Morgan Parra sent an up and under towards the Canadian posts and two Canucks got in each others’ way underneath the ball. After a fumble and tap back, Vincent Clerc got over handily.

TRY! Wonderful response from the Canadians. They go right down the pitch, and Monro copies the up-and-under tactic from close in. After some confusion in the  French defence, Ryan Smith gets the try.

Penalty: France are enjoying a nice bit of pressure now. Like a teenager, they’ve gone through quite a few phases and Parra’s happy to tap over a straight-forward penalty ultimately.

I’m not going to engage in any patronising head-patting but Canada are holding their own here as we hit the 25 minute mark. After some consistent pressure, Trinh-Duc eventually gets the ball downfield.

Pritchard then sweeps a penalty wide – disappointingly for the Canucks and maybe the neutrals. He’s missed two now worryingly for him.

Technical side note: Gotta say I’m very impressed with the Canadians’ facial hair. Top, top beards as Harry Redknapp would say.

I may begin to grow one at half-time.

Penalty Canada’s Ryan Smith concedes a penalty for not rolling away in ruck and Morgan Parra splits the posts.

Penalty. As Jerry Seinfeld would say: that’s a shame. After all their hard work, Canada have let it slip away before half time.

Parra has knocked over a second in quick succession after James Pritchard conceded a penalty leaving his feet at the ruck. We’ll have the break in the next few moments.

I’ll get the kettle on shall I?

HALF TIME France 19 Canada 10

Parra added a third kick in first-half junk time to but plenty of daylight between the sides as the head in for their break.

So we’re up and running in Napier again. Those of you lucky enough to have had a lie in this Sunday morning can catch up with the first half highlights here already.

In the meantime, Canada have started well again and made it a one-score game by Ander Monro drop goal.

Penalty Again though, Canada give away cheap points. This time the penalty is conceded for illegal scrum binding and Parra makes no mistake, predictably.

As I type Monro slots over another drop goal attempt and wheels away smiling. Good stuff.

He’s human? After six successful penalty attempts, Parra misses his seventh.

Plenty of boos around the ground when the ref talks to James Pritchard and awards a penalty after he sends Vincent Clerc over the advertising hoardings with a shoulder that would not be out of place at Croker later.

Possibly banner of the tournament so far: “Save a beaver, eat a frog”.

I’m not sure I fully understand it though.

Anything you can do, I can do better. After Munro’s pair of drop kicks, Trinh-Duc follows suit. The Canucks then win a penalty when the French are caught offside. Pritchard does what he does best. Canada are hanging in there, baby.

The last time both teams scored drop goals in a RWC match was the 17-16 win by Australia over Ireland in 2003. George Gregan and Brian O’Driscoll scored the drop goals, I’m told.

TRY That’s the difference. France show their class as they go wide to Traille, he goosesteps behind the cover and goes in under the posts.

We’re into the final few minutes – eight or so – and it’s over as a contest. I’m not gonna lie to you.

Ooof. Morgan Parras just got absolutely smashed by two lesser-spotted north American beasts. That is good for the soul, of a Sunday morning.

My Sky box has gone on the link so I’m now watching a French feed – the commentators sound like their smoking and chatting casually at this stage.

TRY! Vincent Clerc dives into the corner for his second of the night. Good night, nurse.

Parra then kicks the conversion from the sideline. Not a bad player is Morgan. Time is up but the French smell a bonus point, you feel.

And the get it.. Clerc takes the congratulations in the same corner as he notches a world cup hat-trick.

Parra’s conversion dots the full stop in an interesting battle in Napier.

Canada battled admitably – as you’d expect – but more impressively, they played intelligently. Ultimately, the French pulled away and showed their class.

Declan Kidney will have been an interesting spectator in the Ireland team hotel with his World Cup wallchart at his feet. We could yet see them in the semi-finals.

Thanks for your company over the course of a wonderful weekend for Irish rugby. Let’s do it again some time.

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