Australia demonstrated their world-class credentials with a comprehensive 50-23 victory over France at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
The victory saw the Wallabies take a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series against the French, and it was nothing more than their rugby deserved.
It was the perfect revenge for France’s 33-6 triumph over Australia in November, their first for seven years, per Sky Sports, though the visitors were impressive during the opening exchanges.
Showing flair in the wide positions, France looked like breaking through the hosts’ guard early on, but it was Australia that took the lead after some sloppy French handling.
Bernard Foley converted a penalty after Israel Folau was stopped in his tracks, giving the Wallabies the initiative at 3-0.
Though Frederic Michalak brought the scores level with a drop-goal, the first try of the match, after 19 minutes, saw Australia begin their dominance.
It was Folau that went over after neat work from James Slipper, with Foley’s conversion making it 10-3, but it got even better for the Aussies in double-quick time.
Foley was once again at the heart of the action, releasing Nick Cummins with a neat kick before the winger found Adam Ashley-Cooper to dot down.
Tries from Michael Hooper and Matt Toomua with more expert kicking from Foley gave Australia a 29-9 lead at half time.
After the interval, France sprung out of the traps and had the Wallabies on the ropes for large spells. That was, until, Western Force star Cummins raced over the line after some stunning build-up play.
At 36-9, there was no way back for France and further tries from Kurtley Beale and Pat McCabe took the hosts up to their 50 total.
France did hit back with two tries—one from Morgan Parra and a penalty try—but the day belonged to Australia, who fully deserved their 50-23 victory.
France now have some serious work to do if they’re to recover the series, which continues next weekend, as they simply never got going in Brisbane.
However, the French are known for their rather unexplainable inconsistency, so you never know which France may turn up next weekend. If Australia perform like they did on Saturday, though, it won’t even matter.