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Byline: Tom Bell

France 14 Tonga 19

from Tom Bell in Wellington

FRANCE coach Marc Lievremont was ready to hit the sauce after his shambolic side were humbled by rampant Tonga.

Les Bleus stumbled into a last-eight grudge match with england because the Tongans couldn't manage a try bonus point. The islanders scored a try through Sukanaivalu Hufanga and should have had three more.

Vincent clerc's try after the 80-minute mark could not disguise the fact that the french are in disarray - and the boss is ready to sort it out down the pub.

Lievremont said: "We are just like anyone else. I've never been against discussing things over a few beers.

"We've talked about the group being nervous. I want my players to relax, not analyse. I don't think we can be happy with this - it's a bitter qualification."

Captain Thierry Dusautoir added: "You might wonder what was going through our heads. We have been nervous for some time and it's had an effect."

But he warned: "We are capable of beating england. The motivation is there. We have nothing to lose - we are underdogs.

"Obviously if we play like this again we'll be going straight back to france."

SCORERS - TONGA: Try: Hufanga; Con: Morath; Pens: Morath (4).

FRANCE: Try: Clerc; Pens: Yachvili (3).


BATTERED: France's Jean baptiste Poux
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Oct 2, 2011
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