Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Rugby World Cup
clash between France and Canada
's men have enjoyed an excellent start to the tournament with convincing victories over Italy and Romania in their opening two matches. France are currently second in Pool D and are almost certain to secure their place in the knockout stage of the competition, but Saint-Andre and his side may have their sights set on winning the group, with their clash against Ireland on the horizon.
's side have lost their opening two matches of the tournament and are fourth in the Pool, with their chances of reaching the knockout stage slim. Canada were hammered in their opening match in their 50-7 defeat to Ireland, but put a strong account of themselves in their narrow defeat to Italy in their second game, which will give Crowley hope that his team can compete well tonight.
We'll now take a look at the teams that were confirmed by the coaches during the week. Starting with France.
FRANCE: Ben Arous, Guirado, Slimani; Pape, Maestri; Dusautoir, Le Roux; Chouly; Tillous-Borde, Michalak, Dulin, Fofana, Bastareaud, Grosso, Spedding
Replacements: Kayser, Debaty, Mas, Nyanga, Ouedraogo, Parra, Tales, Dumoulin
CANADA: Evans, Mackenzie, Hearn, Blevins, Van der Merwe, Hirayama, Mack; Ardron, Thorpe, Gilmour, Cudmore, Beukeboom, Wooldridge, Carpenter, Buydens
Replacements: Barkwill, Sears-Duru, Tiedemann, Olmstead, Dala, McRorie, Jones, Trainor
Brice Dulin, Wesley Fofana
and Bernard Le Roux are the only players in the France lineup that have retained their places from the win over Romania last time out. Louis Picamoles and Noa Nakaitaci are left out of the squad completely tonight, allowing them to rest ahead of their clash with Ireland next week. Meanwhile, Thierry Dusatoir returns to the lineup to captain Les Bleus this evening and Remy Grosso makes his debut.
Crowley has made six changes to his side from their narrow defeat to Italy last time out. Nick Blevins, Aaron Carpenter, Phil Mack, Richard Thorpe, Kyle Gilmour and Brett Beukeboom come onto the lineup, as Crowley opts to rotate his back row, while centre Conor Braid misses out due to injury.
The players are making their way out at stadium:MK so we should be underway very shortly.
KICKOFF! We're underway in this Pool D clash.
TRY! France 7-0 Canada (Fofana)
France find the breakthrough almost immediately in the match as Michalak bursts through a tackle in the Canadian defensive line and offloads out of the back of his hand to the advancing Fofana, who completes the score by escaping an ankle tackle and diving over the line.
Beukeboom makes a strong forwad for the Maple Leafs and earns a penalty as France jump offside at the breakdown. Van der Merwe tries to capitalise on the advantage by raiding down the wing, but he gets brought down quickly and the referee goes back for the penalty.
Canada go for the lineout, but their attacking momentum is stopped by a poor throw by Carpenter and Dusatoir is able to gather.
Canada earn another penalty following another promising drive as Bastereaud puts his hands in on the floor to gather the ball at the breakdown. Hirayama kicks for touch and Canada earn another platform to attack the French defensive line.
The Maple Leafs pound at the tryline, but Les Bleus hold firm and turn the ball over to clear the danger. Strong tackling and counter-rucking from Les Bleus to save them a score.
Canada lose their lineout in their own half and a further mistake from Mack allows France to win a scrum deep in the Maple Leafs' side of the pitch.
Canada are penalised at the scrum and Michalak has the opportunity to kick his side into a 10-point lead.
PENALTY! France 10-0 Canada (Michalak)
Michalak sends his kick through the posts and becomes his nation's leading points scorer in World Cup history.
Canada kick deep from the restart and they put the pressure on Les Bleus by charging down Tillous-Borde's attempted kick over the top to clear his lines, resulting in a lineout for France deep in their own territory.
Saint-Andre's men clear their lines from the lineout, but Canada gain an attacking platform from the clearance. They break down the left with swift passing from the hands of Mack and Hearn. The ball comes to Hirayama following a burst forward from Wooldridge, and the fly-half goes for the drop goal, only to see his effort go just wide of the posts.
SUBSTITUTION: Big blow for Canada as their capitan Ardron limps off with an injury and is replaced by Dala.
France begin to move the ball well around their backs to create an opening down the middle. Fofana tries to break between the Canada props, but he gets decked by a high tackle from Wooldrige, which yields a penalty for Les Bleus.
France concede a penalty deep in Canada territory to spurn a good attacking platform, but the kick from Hirayama fails to find touch following good work from Dulin as he reached for the ball on the line. Spedding launches a surging run to break through a couple of tackles to put the pressure back on the Maple Leafs.
Les Bleus continue to pile forward in numbers as they close within five yards of the tryline, but Bastereaud commits his second error of the half by knocking on to hand the Maple Leafs a scrum.
Magic from Michalak as he fakes the offload and weaves his way through the Canadian defensive line to burst towards the post. He appears to run out of steam and decides to kick to allow Fofana to complete the score under the posts, and his effort is pinpoint to set the centre on course. However, Fofana fumbles the ball and Canada are able to jump on it to prevent the try.
TRY! France 17-0 Canada (Guirado)
The respite is only brief for Canada as following their clearance from the scrum, France come back with power to batter themselves over the line for the second try of the game. Les Blues get into maul five metres from the line, and they drive the Canadians back to allow Guirado to touch down for the score. Michalak continues to show his class by firing the conversion through the posts from a difficult angle.
TRY! France 17-7 Canada (Van Der Merwe)
Canada come right back into the game from the restart following an excellent take from Hearn from the kickoff. The centre leapt over Dulin to claim the ball and started a flowing move down the right. Mack moved the ball to the line and further good work from the forwards drew French defenders in from the flanks, which allowed the scrum-half to spread the ball across the pitch and Van Der Merwe continued his fine World Cup with the score in the corner.
TRY! France 17-12 Canada (Carpenter)
Game on! Canada hit back at the French with power down the left flank and that creates an opening as Mack bursts through. Hearn and Blevins pound away at the defensive line to win a penalty, which allows Mack to spread the ball quickly over to the right. Gilmour has the chance to put McKenzie in the score, but opts to keep the ball and gets held up. However, support arrives quickly and Carpenter manages to slide for the line to bring his side within five points. The kick from Hirayama is poor and leaves his side five points behind.
SUBSTUTITION: Jones replaces Evans for the Maple Leafs.
France win a penalty and Les Bleus have another attacking platform right on the edge of the tryline as Michalak's kick finds touch.
TRY! France 24-12 Canada (Slimani)
France restore their two-score lead as the throw from Guirado finds Dusatoir and Les Bleus build their maul to drive at the Canadian line, and Slimani is able to touch down over the line for the third try of the match for Saint-Andre's men. Michalak adds the kick to hand his side a 12-point advantage.
HALF-TIME: France 24-12 Canada
France hold a 12-point lead following their exploits in their first half, but Canada have been exceptional in their attacking play and will be delighted with their performance so far. Wesley Fofana got Les Bleus off to a fast start with a try in the fourth minute and Guilhem Guirado
added a second score in the 28th minute to put his side in command.
However, the Maple Leafs hit back back with a score from DTH van der Merwe and pulled within five points when Aaron Carpenter crashed over the line from close range to bring Canada right into the game. France upped the ante just before the break to restore their comfortable advantage. Crowley will be delighted with what he has seen so far from his side apart from their tackling in the fourth minute, which allowed Fofana to touch down.
The players are out on the pitch and we're ready for the restart.
RESTART! We're back underway at stadium:MK.
PENALTY! France 24-15 Canada (Hirayama)
Straight from the restart Bernard Le Roux allows the ball to sail over his head and Thorpe tries to capitalise, but can only knock the ball on. However, from the resulting scrum France concede a penalty right on front of their own posts and the Maple Leafs go for the kick. Hirayama this time makes no mistake, sending his effort through the middle.
Canada continue their pressure on the French defensive line, but they are too persistent in their pressure at the breakdown and concede a penalty. Michalak's kick sails deep into the territory of the Maple Leafs to reverse the field.
Another penalty for Les Bleus, but they opt to kick for touch to put them on the edge of the tryline. However, they commit an error at the lineout and allow Canada to clear their lines from a scrum.
France are not quite at their fluent best after the restart as Bastereaud commits a knock on following a hit from Blevins from a decent attacking position for Les Bleus, but Canada are once again able to clear downfield.
Sloppy start to the half from both sides as neither have been solid at the break down. First, Hearn is guilt of holding on to the ball under pressure from several France defenders, then Dulin does the exact same thing on the next series for Les Bleus.
Another error from France at the breakdown as they jump offside in their rush to break out and quell the Canadian attack. A chance for Hirayama to bring his side within six points with the kick.
PENALTY! France 24-18 Canada (Hirayama)
Solid kick by Hirayama by sending his effort through the posts from a slight angle and Canada close within six points.
A poor clearing kick from Mack puts Canada in trouble down the left flank and Grosso makes a surging run by cutting back through the middle. The pressure overwhelms the Maple Leafs and Dala concedes a penalty, which will be a kick from Michalak.
PENALTY! France 27-18 Canada (Michalak)
Michalak maintains his composure from the kick and sends his effort through the posts to restore the nine-point advantage.
The mistakes are coming from Canada now and Barkwill puts his side under immense pressure with an error at the breakdown, Parra sends the ball into touch right on the edge of the tryline.
A great defensive effort keeps Les Bleus' forwards out from the lineout as they drive right within one inch of the tryline. Parra sends the ball out to Bastereaud who powers towards the line with all of his 18st bulk at his disposal, but Hearn, Jones and Olmstead combine to stop him in his tracks and yield the mistake as the centre knocks the ball on.
Canada get the ball out of their 22, but a handling error allows France to break at them once again. Dulin tries to go for the line, but Van der Merwe does enough to keep him at bay by knocking the ball into the touch. However, Beukeboom brings down the maul and hands France another penalty, which Parra puts right on the edge of the tryline into touch.
TRY! France 34-18 Canada (Pape)
France power over the line with the use of the maul for the third time in the game. Pape has the ball at the back of the maul and allows his props to guide him towards the line, and he does just enough to squeeze the ball over to confirm the score under a pile of players.
YELLOW CARD! Canada will play with 14 men for the rest of the game as Dala comes out of the line to disrupt France on the edge of the tryline by coming in at the side of the ruck. France are going in for the kill now.
Canada save themselves from facing another barrage from the France backs at the tryline by winning the battle in the scrum, which allows them to clear their lines.
Nightmare for Hearn - who has had an excellent game for the Maple Leafs - as he knocks the ball on the edge of his 22 and Dumoulin tries to break towards the line by kicking the ball between the posts, but McRorie gets there first to save the score.
TRY! France 41-18 Canada (Grosso)
Grosso touches down for a score on his debut in the World Cup. France were able to get quick ball from the resulting scrum from McRorie's touch down behind the line, and Parra sent the ball out to his backs on the left flank. Grosso had enough power to shake off a tackle and get the ball over line before his feet went out of touch. Parra sends the conversion kick over the posts with deadly accuracy.
Another penalty for Les Bleus and instead of going for the posts, Parra kicks for the corner. France are determined to add more points to their tally tonight.
A handling error close to the line stops the try from Les Bleus and Canada hack the ball clear. It would have been unfair to add further pain on the Maple Leafs this evening as they have been excellent all over the field.
FULL-TIME: France 41-18 Canada
France continue their impressive start to the tournament by securing their third win on the spin with a bonus-point victory over Canada. Philippe Saint-Andre
's men were not at their best, but still cantered to the win due to their dominance with their forward play, which allowed them to score three tries from their lineouts. Kieran Crowley's side battled well and scored two tries courtesy of spirited play among their backs, which will give them plenty of hope for the future.
Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.