Wallabies savaged over 'dreadful' scenes in final game before Rugby World Cup

Eddie Jones' side have some serious work to do after being handed a brutal reality check by France.

The Wallabies, pictured here in action against France.
The Wallabies were thrashed by France in their final game before the Rugby World Cup. Image: Getty

The Wallabies have been handed a massive reality check heading into the Rugby World Cup after Eddie Jones' side were thrashed 41-17 by France in their final warm-up game on Monday morning (Aussie time). Jones made the bizarre decision to leave out a noted goal-kicker from his starting 15, and rookie five-eighth Carter Gordon missed out on 10 points with the boot at Stade de France.

The Wallabies' discipline was also a major issue, conceding 14 penalties as France kept the points ticking over. The loss marks the Wallabies' fifth on the trot since Jones took over in a concerning trend just two weeks out from the World Cup.

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Halfback Tate McDermott said his team were "letting themselves down". The vice-captain told Stan Sport: "There were a couple of penalties that just relieved pressure and against a team like France, with the skill of their backs, we just gifted them field position and to their credit they capitalised on those errors.

"The solutions have got to come from us - Eddie is doing his best but we're letting ourselves down out there. We've got two weeks to find a solution for Georgia because they're a bloody good side so we've got to make sure we front there."

The Wallabies start their World Cup campaign against Georgia on September 10, and Jones is remaining upbeat despite the winless run. "Within the camp we have a fair bit of confidence," he told reporters after the game.

"We'd like to have a better win/loss record. We're trying to play a different way and the results haven't been good enough but we do have a long term plan for the World Cup and that's what we're here for."

Jones said the goal-kicking woes were "100 per cent a concern." He added: "But all we can do is work with the young kid. We've got young kids in this team and we're backing them, and he'll get better."

Eddie Jones, pictured here ahead of the Wallabies' loss to France.
Eddie Jones is remaining confident despite the Wallabies' loss to France. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Wallabies fans left fuming over 'dreadful' scenes

The Wallabies actually scored three tries compared to France's four, but never looked like beating one of the tournament favourites. They trailed 16-5 at half-time, with Gordon leaving eight points on the field after failing with a try conversion plus two penalty kicks.

Mark Nawaqanitawase was the Wallabies' sole try-scorer of the first half, finishing off a beautifully-worked set move, with Andrew Kellaway finding the winger with a long pass. Wallabies flanker Fraser McReight dived across under the posts in the second half, but France immediately replied through winger Gabin Villiere to push the lead out to a commanding 31-12.

Former NRL star Suliasi Vunivalu, who was a shock selection in Jones' World Cup squad, had his best performance in the gold jumper and scored a 77th minute try. Vunivalu was unlucky to get a yellow card early in the second half after getting tangled at a ruck and pinged for going off his feet.

"I was thinking about a number of players that are improving and Suli's one," Jones said. "He scored one good try, could have scored a couple more. He looked like he was ready to play at the highest level."

Despite Jones' optimism, fans and pundits were highly critical of the Wallabies' display. The goal-kicking proved a huge cause for concern heading into the World Cup.

with agencies

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