France victorious over Japan to produce unbeaten 2022


Les Bleus’ victory was secured via tries from Damian Penaud, Charles Ollivon and Anthony Jelonch with the boot of Thomas Ramos adding further points; two final Autumn Nations Series matches take place next weekend – Wales vs Australia and England vs South Africa

Last Updated: 20/11/22 3:48pm

France's victory over Japan ensures they finish the calendar year with an unbeaten record France's victory over Japan ensures they finish the calendar year with an unbeaten record

France’s victory over Japan ensures they finish the calendar year with an unbeaten record

France finished 2022 unbeaten after two tries from Damian Penaud helped them to overcome Japan 35-17 in their final Autumn Nations Series fixture.

Having already beaten Australia and South Africa, Les Bleus made it three wins from three in the series and are undefeated this year.

Next year’s World Cup hosts also delivered their victory without their suspended captain, Antoine Dupont.

Stand-in skipper Charles Ollivon and Anthony Jelonch crossed for the other two French tries and Thomas Ramos kicked three penalties and three conversions.

Japan’s tries came in the second half from Naoto Saito and Siosaia Fifita with Seungsin Lee slotting over two conversions and a penalty.

The result saw the Brave Blossoms handed their second defeat of the series, having lost to England last weekend.

Winger Penaud put the hosts ahead after seven minutes, running on to a grubber kick from Romain Ntamack and kicking the ball on himself before sprinting to get a touch as it threatened to go out of bounds.

Ramos slotted over three penalties as France stretched ahead before Ollivon extended the lead to 21-3 with a try on the stroke of halftime.

Japan scored their first-half points through fly-half Lee from a penalty but quickly reduced the French lead three minutes into the second half when Saito went over after Shogo Nakano’s break.

France’s Autumn Nations Series results

France 30-29 Australia
France 30-26 South Africa
France 35-17 Japan

Japan continued to look stronger than they did at Twickenham last weekend and kept the French at bay until the hour mark when Penaud finished off an expansive move for his second try and his 21st in 37 internationals.

Three minutes later, Fifita caught France unawares and went over from five metres out to keep Japan in the game as they reduced the deficit to 11 points.

But the home side made sure of a more comfortable winning margin when Jelonch finished off a series of short passes. A blight on the day for Les Bleus was losing centre Gael Fickou to an ankle injury early in the match

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