France crush Georgia to reach last eight

Two tries by record-breaking wing Christophe Dominici helped France crush Georgia 64-7 in their final Pool D match on Sunday to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals.

The hosts will now play New Zealand in Cardiff unless Ireland beat Argentina by more than seven points later on Sunday in Paris, in which case France would face a quarter-final against Scotland in the French capital.

Needing four tries to secure a bonus point, France ran in nine in Marseille with Dominici becoming his country’s record try scorer in World Cup history after taking his tally to eight.

Young flyhalf Lionel Beauxis also made a telling contribution, scoring a try and kicking 19 points.

Georgia, who had to be content with a late consolation try from replacement flanker Zviad Maisurardze, looked helpless at times but will go home proud after scoring their first World Cup win by beating Namibia 30-0 in their previous game.

France, who put themselves in a tricky situation by losing to Argentina in the tournament opener on September 7, moved ahead after three minutes with a Beauxis penalty.

Then came a brilliant move sparked by centre Yannick Jauzion, who slalomed through the Georgian defence before setting up Clement Poitrenaud for the first try, which Beauxis converted.

Mignoni injury

Losing scrumhalf Pierre Mignoni through injury and replacing him by Jean-Baptiste Elissalde did not slow down France’s forward march.

Two more Beauxis penalties, including one from over 50m, followed when Georgia were temporarily reduced to 10 men with a yellow card for prop Mamuka Magrakvelidze.

France chose that moment to score their second try through flanker Yannick Nyanga, who surged from a rolling maul after a lineout.

A classic move from the French backs gave the home side a third try by the outstanding Beauxis, whose conversion put France 30-0 at halftime.

France stayed in total control after the break, Dominici scoring his two tries after astute kicks from Beauxis and Elissalde.

Hooker Sebastien Bruno and lock Lionel Nallet contributed from mauls and Remy Martin also touched down before Georgia were again reduced to 14 for the closing stages, this time after a dangerous tackle by centre Revaz Gicauri.

Number eight Julien Bonnaire completed the demolition after another fluent combination thrilled the Marseille crowd. - Reuters

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