No corrections yet
NOT FROTH AND BUBBLE I
It ivas not mere froth and ¡bubble yesterday there was plenty of body in his French cham- pagne
Thee was enough sparkle to shw up the stale beer of Austria's orthodoxy.
[ Thi'field was not very bad, but orly morning rain had got nder the covers on the centri area, and large patches weremuddy and "sticky."
So1 far as Australia is con- cern«!, France has "arrived" in Tet football.
Arl now, Australia's selec- tors,'grim after the match, must set about doing what
they can to match French skill and speed.
Strength and determination are not enough. Hard slog- ging in the mud paid divi- dends against England last year, but it was not enough
Not even the ruggedness of inside centre Willoughby and the driving tackling and run- ning of second-rower "Mick" Crocker, who were Australia's most effective players, could halt the Frenchmen.
France's reversing, clever passing, and safe handling, did not always win ground.
One of the most sustained bursts of passing, during which backs and forwards swept play from the left wing to the right and back again, gained only a yard.
But many times holes were ripped.
The running down the centre of the magnificent second-row forwards, Elie Brousse and Edouard Pon sinet, always in position for the pass, was memorable.
The French speed of movement, and the dazzling variety, were unforgettable.
An outstanding personality was little Jean Dop, 29-year old half-back, who in the second half was mercurial in the loose play, bursting through time after time.
Yet Dop was the man they did not want to play!
The team selectors had I hoped for the injured Crespo being available. "He docs fool things," one authority said of Dop.
Dop might do more eccen- tric things in country games, as he has done already on the tour, but no doubt he will be there again for the second
Important factors in France's success were the fly- ing start obtained and superi- ority in the scrums, which had something to do with that
Coaches Bob Samatan and
Jean Duhau had planned to keep the ball away from Aus- tralia's running full-back Churchill, and to harass him when he had it.
Puig-Aubert and emer- gency lock-forward Rene Dut fort kicked strongly to the opposite wing, or else deep beyond Churchill, with front row forwards moving up to him.
Puig-Aubert, as against Sydney, missed out in his line kicking, but otherwise he did extremely well. Duffort's kicking for touch was admir-
Puig-Aubert kicked some magnificent goals.
| His first two penalty shots produced goals and he was so
keen to maintain the "uplift"
to his team that he had three drop-kicks for field goals, but all were wide.
However, he kicked a third goal, and then after 35 minutes' play he had an astonishing part when the first try carno.
The dumpy little full-back -what a player he would be if he were really fit-had come into a rush and found himself the "dummy" half in a ruck 15 yards from Aus- tralia's line.
The ball went across to the right wing, where Contrastin tore through Graves's tackle in his dash for the corner.
Then five-eighth Galaup cut through and gave to centre Merquey, whom winger Bliss caught from behind.
But from the ruck Can- toni gained his disputed try.
Graves's long kick for a great goal produced the home Team's first points-France
16-2 at half-time.
France had won first half scrums 15-5, and went on to win the second half, 13-9.
France gained 15 penalties
to Australia's 14.
Schubert's temporary success early in the second half gave his backs hope, and the for-
wards roused themselves to a display of robust football.
"The 'Froggies' will punc- ture," I heard someone say.
Australia had clapped on three tries.
Forward barging was fol- lowed by a ruck, Bliss came infield from the right wing, the ball swept on to Wil- loughby, who burst past Mer quey and scored.
Then Stanmore reversed play to Holman, Crocker ducked under Bartoletti's tackle, and crashed over.
Midway through the half the home side was one point down, 15-16, after Holman] had sent Graves through from a scrum, Contrastin missing the tackle.
France rallied and refused lo play safe, but turned on the "fireworks." Australia finished the more tired team.
Hooker Genoud scored near the left wing, with a tackler's arms around him.
Then tricky centre Comes got away from Stanmore and Hazzard, ran to Churchill, and enabled winger Cantoni to slice through to the posts.
« Gaston Comes is one of the most artistic centres ever to come to Australia.
He is a quick-thinker, and he handles gloriously.
Right centre Merquery also
made brilliant bursts.
Newly-arrived five-eighth Charles Galaup triumphed with a cool, neat, and strong display.
No forwards equalled
Brousse and Ponsinet. With one swerve Ponsinet left Churchill standing.
Front row props, Mazon and Bartoletti, were given a lot of credit for the success of hooker Genoud. France con- ceded only five scrum penalties.
Mazon is a non-stop worker-a real Test player.
The pack triumphed in the scrums, as well as in the loose.
Willoughby remained Aus- tralia's "hope" in attack.
Hazzard was not a success, and Bliss again played weakly.
Halves Holman and Stan- more worked hard, but there is something missing from their attacking machinery. Holman's "covering" work was grand.
The Australian forwards were solid enough, but more speed is needed, and some- thing must be done about the
France, 26 (V. Cantoni 2, R. Contrastai, G. Genoud tries; Puig-Aubert 7 goals), beat Australia, 15 (G. Wil- loughby, H. Crocker, J. Graves tries; Graves 3 goals).