Rugby World Cup 2015: France 38-11 Romania

Sofiane Guitoune
Sofiane Guitoune, who replaced injured winger Yoann Huget in France's team, scored the opening try against Romania
France (17) 38
Tries: Guitoune 2, Nyanga, Fofana, Fickou Cons: Parra 3, Kockott 2 Pen: Parra
Romania (6) 11
Try: Radoi Pens: Vlaicu 2

France overcame a wobbly first half-hour to beat Romania and continue their winning start in World Cup Pool D.

Showing 13 changes from the starting XV that beat Italy, France struggled for rhythm in the early stages and were level at 3-3 after 30 minutes.

But Sofiane Guitoune and Yannick Nyanga crossed to give them a 17-6 half-time advantage at the Olympic Stadium.

Guitoune, Wesley Fofana and Gael Fickou secured a bonus point, while Andrei Radoi scored a late consolation try.

The Oaks gave France a scare early on, with Morgan Parra's penalty cancelled out by Florin Vlaicu, who also came close to scoring the game's first try only to be held up on the line.

But Guitoune's touchdown, moments after Romania prop Paulica Ion was sent to the sin-bin, set the platform for a comfortable France victory.

Too many changes?

Full-time stats
France took control in the second period, after Romania had 52% of the possession before the break

France, who beat Italy 32-10 in their opening match, became the first team at this year's World Cup to utilise every member of their squad.

Though boosted by the return of centre Fofana, they produced a disjointed first half-hour in east London, conceding nine turnovers by half-time with their pack unable to impose themselves at the breakdown.

But as the match wore on, and they introduced their first-choice forwards from the bench, France capitalised on tiring Romanian legs to pull clear.

The plus points for France

Sofiane Guitoune
Guitoune wrestled his way through to score France's third try of the evening

Wing Guitoune came in for the injured Yoann Huget and caught the eye, along with returning centre and man of the match Fofana.

With Huget set to miss the rest of the tournament because of cruciate ligament damage, Guitoune could prove a fine replacement in the number 14 shirt.

The 26-year-old, winning his fifth Test cap, was one of the major plus points for France coach Philippe Saint-Andre, finishing both of his tries expertly.

What they said

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said: "We wanted a bit more tempo in the game but it was very slow. We knew Romania are very strong in the contact area and they played to their strengths.

"It's important all of the squad were used in the first two games for the spirit within the squad.

"First we need to concentrate on Canada next but, don't worry, we'll be ready for Ireland."

Match stats

Romania celebrate
Romania, who came close to opening the scoring in the first half, touched down in the final 10 minutes
  • France have now won four games on the bounce for the first time since 2012.
  • Yannick Nyanga scored his first try for France since November 2012, ending a run of 16 games without crossing the whitewash, his longest spell without a try for Les Bleus.
  • Sofiane Guitoune became the first player to score a brace for France since Teddy Thomas scored a hat-trick of tries against Fiji in November 2014.

Teams

France: Dulin, Guitoune, Fickou, Fofana, Nakaitaci, Tales, Parra, Debaty, Szarzewski, Atonio, Le Roux, Flanquart, Nyanga, Ouedraogo, Picamoles.

Replacements: Kockott for Parra (67), Ben Arous for Debaty (68), Kayser for Szarzewski (50), Mas for Atonio (50), Chouly for Picamoles (50). Not Used: Maestri, Michalak, Bastareaud.

Romania: Fercu, Lemnaru, Kinikinilau, Vlaicu, Apostol, Dumbrava, Surugiu, Lazar, Turashvili, Ion, Popirlan, Van Heerden, V. Ursache, Lucaci, Macovei.

Replacements: Botezatu for Apostol (78), Gal for Dumbrava (47), Calafeteanu for Surugiu (75), A. Ursache for Lazar (72), Radoi for Turashvili (59), Pungea for Ion (80), Tonita for Popirlan (71), Burcea for Lucaci (79).

Sin Bin: Ion (30).

Att: 50,626

Ref: Jaco Peyper (South Africa).

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