Top games: Australia v France
France weren’t given much of a hope against the Australians in the
1987 semifinal, but few were to realise the humdinger that was about to take place as the French scored a massive upset against the more fancied Austalians.
They looked even less likely to go to the final when Michael Lynaugh put through two penalties through to give the Wallabies a 9-0 lead early on.
But while some stern defence kept the French out early on, it didn’t take them long to get themselves onto the scoreboard. Lock Alain Lorieux ripped the ball off the Australian lineout on their five metre line and twisted his way around and over the line.
Lorieux was again prominent as he combined with Pierre Berbizier to create forward momentum before the ball headed wide to Phillipe Sella, who danced outside, then went inside to split the Wallaby defence with ease to beat three defenders and give the French the lead.
Then the magic of David Campese came to the fore. Lynagh found a perfect gap to break the first line of defence, then sent the ball wide to Peter Greig, who popped the ball inside to Campese, who went in to break the world record for the most tries scored in internationals.
The French weren’t done, and it was Serge Blanco who created a beautiful line of space for Patrice Lagisquet to run 50 metres to the line and score. Lynagh kept the pressure up, but in the final moments, a sensational turnover from a kick downfield saw the ball go through
12 pairs of hands before it got to Blanco, who had no hesitation in heading to the corner to seal a famous 30-24 victory and send France into the final.