France v Georgia: Key talking points on Under-20 Summer Series Finals Day

·3-min read
France v Georgia: Key talking points on Under-20 Summer Series Finals Day

France survived a 20-minute spell with 13 men to beat Georgia 44-17 and finish their Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series with a flourish, writes Josh Graham in Treviso.

The Junior Lelos got off to a flying start as they raced into a 10-0 lead with prop Alexandre Kuntelia at full stretch to dot down.

However, Gatien Massé’s double and a score for Benjamin Boudou on the stroke of half-time after Georgia prop Sergo Abramishvili was sent to the sin bin gave Les Bleuets a 17-10 half-time lead.

Thomas Moukoro was sent off for a dangerous tackle at the start of the second half but Max Auriac’s penalty and Louis Bielle-Biarrey’s converted try kept France on top.

Brent Liufau was shown yellow and Georgia capitalised through Lasha Tsikhistavi but another Auriac penalty and then an interception from the full-back meant Robin Bellemand's sin-binning had little effect before Leo Banos’ score sealed matters.

Key player - Nicolas Depoortere

France’s inside centre Nicolas Depoortere caught the eye with a number of impressive carries late in the first half.

Depoortere always seemed to make metres and was the perfect foil for the equally impressive Leo Barré inside him at fly-half.

With several cards brandished, he even had to show his versatility by packing down on the flank and managed to help his side win a scrum penalty.

Play of the game - Masse’s magic feet

Wing Gatien Masse single-handedly grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck with two tries in the space of seven minutes.

But it was his first score that really caught the eye on the right wing.

He caught a beautifully floated ball from fly-half Barré and still had plenty of work to do but completed the score with ease.

Masse’s fast feet stood Georgia full-back Saba Liparteliani up in a small space and he dived in at the corner despite the attention of some vociferous last-ditch defence.

Key talking point - Discipline plays a key role

Both sides fell foul of the referee’s whistle but ultimately France’s ability to weather the storm proved crucial in earning them the victory.

Georgia’s game plan is no secret and their large forward pack began to wilt in the heat after a draining physical effort took its toll.

Therefore, they were unable to fully take advantage of France playing almost the entire second half at least a man down, if not two.

Key moment - Intercept try gives depleted France breathing space

With Georgia building momentum and France depleted in numbers, it looked like only a matter of time before the Junior Lelos would score again to reduce their arrears, trailing 30-17 at the time.

However, full-back Max Auriac had other ideas as his 65th-minute length-of-the-field interception try came at the perfect time for Les Bleuets who were under siege on their own line.

Auriac was prolific off the tee and showed a great turn of pace to dash Georgian hopes of a comeback and give France that all-important breathing space when down to 13 men.

The Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series takes place from 24 June – 12 July. Fans can watch every match live. For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJHm6BFw-9JRA1CMekNLwMg

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