USAP full-back Melvyn Jaminet kicked 15 points but couldn’t prevent France succumbing to a 33-30 defeat to Australia in Brisbane, which handed the three-match Test series to the Wallabies.
The 22-year-old, who is set to play for USAP in the European Rugby Challenge Cup next season, gave France the lead with a penalty early on, before Australia’s Marika Koroibete was shown a red card for a high tackle with just five minutes gone.
France capitalised on a powerful maul to notch their first try of the game three minutes later, as Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud – another player set to feature in next season’s Challenge Cup – dotted down.
Jaminet added the extras to give France a 10-point lead, but Australia rallied and Tate McDermott went over on 11 minutes, with Noah Lolesio converting.
Jaminet slotted his second penalty on 14 minutes to keep the hosts at bay, but Lolesio – who contributed 23 of Australia’s points – intercepted to score his side’s second try of the game.
We are pleased to announce the key dates for the 2021/22 #ChallengeCupRugby season 🏉
— Challenge Cup (@ERChallengeCup) June 16, 2021
Lolesio’s conversion put Australia ahead and he was on hand again to land a penalty on 26 minutes to increase their advantage.
However, France reclaimed the lead four minutes before half-time, when Union Bordeaux-Bègles back-rower Cameron Woki crossed for a try that Jaminet again converted.
Another Lolesio penalty levelled the scores at 20-20 heading into the break, before Lyon centre Pierre-Louis Barassi went over to complete a flowing French move seven minutes into the second half.
Jaminet was on target again from the tee to put France seven points clear, but their lead lasted just four minutes as Taniela Tupou’s try and Lolesio’s conversion drew Australia level.
Lolesio nailed his third penalty of the game with seven minutes to go, but Jaminet looked to have salvaged a draw as he responded with three points of his own two minutes later.
However, it was Lolesio who had the final say, with his final penalty on 79 minutes sealing a hard-fought victory and a 2-1 series win for the Wallabies.