USAP full-back Melvyn Jaminet was the French hero as he scored 23 points in a dramatic 28-26 win over Australia to seal Les Bleus’ first success Down Under since 1990, in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Jaminet – who is set to feature for USAP in the European Rugby Challenge Cup next season – notched three points in last week’s 23-21 Test defeat as the second-choice goalkicker and responded to his promotion with an outstanding display from the tee as France levelled the three-Test series in the most dramatic of conclusions at AAMI Park .
He landed three penalty goals and a conversion in a first half dominated by France, with ASM Clermont Auvergne wing Damian Penaud grabbing their try.
Wallabies fly-half Noah Lolesio kept the hosts in contention from the tee alongside a try from his half-back partner, Jake Gordon, but France moved six points clear just before the hour thanks to a pair of Jaminet three-pointers.
What a player @WorcsWarriors have on their hands for next season's #ChallengeCupRugby 😍@duhanvdmerwe was on target again with another try as the British & Irish Lions ran out winners on Saturday 🙌https://t.co/peN8Zb4tnZ
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) July 12, 2021
He then extended the lead to nine with a further penalty, only for Australia captain Michael Hooper to set up a dramatic finish with a try, which was converted by Lolesio.
In a remarkable final five minutes, Lolesio nudged Australia ahead with a penalty as France strayed offside, but the visitors hit back with a minute to play as scrum dominance by Lyon prop Demba Bamba was rewarded with a penalty.
That left the coast clear for the flawless Jaminet to slot the kick and give France a famous success in Australia for the first time in 31 years.