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Australia vs. France: Score and Lessons Learned from Sydney Test

Danny CoyleFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2014

Australia vs. France: Score and Lessons Learned from Sydney Test

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    Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

    Australia gave France another dusting in Sydney as they completed a 3-0 series win.

    Ewen McKenzie’s men won 39-13 in a display that will fill them with confidence ahead of the coming Rugby Championship.

    For France, there is some serious soul-searching to do. They have never looked like winning on this tour and have seldom looked like a Test-level team.

    Here are the lessons learned.

Will Skelton's Impressive Debut

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    Rick Rycroft/Associated Press

    Australia have never been short of lineout technicians and what you would call a "thinking man's" second rows.

    But a hard charger who gobbles up the yards and puts his considerable bulk about in attack and defence has not been the Wallabies' stock-in-trade.

    That is now what Will Skelton gives them. The giant lock scored a powerful try on debut and displayed his power with ball in hand. He looks set to have a long and successful career at the top.

France Need Major Surgery

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    Rob Griffith/Associated Press

    Les Bleus look as though they don't know whether they are coming or going. They appear to have backs who want to run the ball, but the players pulling the strings prefer to kick it away.

     

    .@FFR_officiel only 103 running metres. #QantasWallabies have had all the ball and run 238m on the way to a 14 point lead. #AUSvFRA

    — Qantas Wallabies (@QantasWallabies) June 21, 2014

     

    Their vaunted scrummaging prowess has evaporated this summer after it began to show signs of weakness in the Six Nations, and their coach must now be under severe pressure.

    Has the influx of overseas players to the top 14 done major damage to this side? Saint-Andre certainly blamed that, per ESPNScrum.com, for the problems in his front row, but the issues run deeper than a lack of props.

    France look like a rugby nation who have lost their identity. They could do with finding it again before they next host the Wallabies in November.

Summer Tours—the Ugly Side

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    Mark Nolan/Getty Images

    Was there really any point in France going on this tour? The nature of their performances and the level of defeat in two of the three Tests suggests not.

    They are a group of players exhausted from an attritional domestic season and seemed uninterested out there.

    It defeats the object of touring in June if you aren't going to take a group of hungry, motivated players to compete.

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