A hat-trick of tries from Vincent Clerc helped France on the way to a 46-19 victory over Canada in their Pool match at McLean Park.
Damian Traille also went over and France’s cause was further served by a peerless kicking performance from scrum half Morgan Parra who racked up 23 points.
Full back James Pritchard kicked Canada into the lead after two minutes with a 35-metre penalty after Pascal Pape strayed offside at a ruck.
Pritchard fumbled an up and under from Francois Trinh Duc three minutes later and Clerc gathered to touch down. Parra converted to send France 7-3 ahead.
Ryan Smith went over to put the Canucks back in front after the French defence was found wanting under a high ball from Ander Monro. Pritchard added the conversion to extend the advantage to 10-7.
A Parra penalty levelled the scores at 10-10 in the 17th minute.
The Clermont Auvergne man put Les Bleus ahead in the 37th minute and extended his side’s lead to nine points with two further quick penalties as the interval approached.
Munro kept the Canadians in contention after the restart, sending over two superb drop goals either side of another Parra penalty for the French.
Trinh Duc got in on the drop goal act at the other end in 56 minutes when he planted another terrific effort between the posts to restore his side’s nine-point lead.
But Pritchard gave the Canucks renewed hope when he kicked his second penalty of the night three minutes later.
Full back Traille gave the French breathing space when he collected after a lineout in his own half and raced more than 60 metres through the Canadian defence for a stunning try. The ever-reliable boot of Parra added the extras to send Marc Lièvremont’s team 32-19 ahead.
Clerc ran over twice in the last four minutes as Canada tired to wrap up the victory.