"Les Bleus vont se battre a nouveau!" one could say (thanks Google Translator), following the French victory, 19-12, over England on October 8.
The win, which comes 205 years to the day after the English bombardment of the French sea side city of Boulogne, not only exacts some long overdue revenge on English Admiral Sir Edward Owen (thanks Wikipedia), it also puts the French one step closer to hoisting their first Webb Ellis Cup.
France will now take on Wales in semifinal one on October 15 at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.
The match began with England attacking the French territory with long kicks and wide laterals, like so many Congreve rockets.
But France responded with some rockets of their own, off the foot of No. 9 Dimitri Yachvili, who kicked Les Bleus to an early six-point lead.
From there, France's cocksure attitude, leveraged by one try a piece for Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard, provided them with a 16-0 advantage, leaving England shell-shocked.
But England is England after all, and they did make a bit of a run in the second half, scoring two tries, one by Mark Foden and one by Mark Cueto, compared to a single drop goal by the French.
Too little to late however, and it was the French who survived to play another day, proving their loss last week to Tonga was an aberration.
Going into their semifinal match with Wales, France will want to find a way to play a more complete game and focus on translating momentum from the first half into a knockout blow in the second half.
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