Rugby League World Cup: France 34-12 Greece – Les Bleus win on debut

France (20) 34
Attempts: Dezaria, Leg, Jullien (2), Mourgue Goals: Mourgue (5) Penalties: Mourgue (2)
Greece (0) 12
Attempts: Taukamo, Mougios Goals: Elias (2)

France cruised to a 34-12 victory as Greece made their Rugby League World Cup debut in Doncaster on Monday.

France scored three tries to lead 20-0 at the break and added two more after the break.

Greece reduced the lead to 26-6 after Siteni Taukamo scored his first try of the World Cup in the 56th minute.

And despite Nick Mougios’ superb late try, France did enough to go level at the top of Group A with England when they face each other on Saturday.

The World Cup debutants struggled to get out of their own half in the early stages and Lachlan Ilias’ 40-20 shot attempt went wide, giving France the platform to power through Jordan Dezaria in the ninth minute.

Jordan Dezaria opened the scoring in the ninth minute

France extended their lead when Arthur Mourgue, who finished with 18 points, kicked a penalty before Tony Gigot tipped home Mourgue’s neat shot on the half hour.

Les Bleus, made up of Super League players, sent Benjamin Jullien over from close range on 34 minutes before Gigot combined with Matthieu Laguerre after Mourgue had crossed.

Greece, with a mix of domestic and Australian-based players, gave Taukamo a glimmer of hope when captain Jordan Meads’ back-kick saw him claim a historic try.

Mourgue added a penalty before Jullien added his second try and a fifth for France, who face hosts England in Bolton.

But Greece, who return to Doncaster to play Samoa on Sunday, capped a landmark night on a high as Billy Magoulias’ shot at the death was perfect before Mougios beat a man and raced in to catch him on the run.

France: Escare, Romano, Langi, Laguerre, Yaha, Mourgue, Gigot, Dezaria, Da Costa, Belmas, Jullien, Seguier, Garcia.

Exchanges: Pelissier, Sangare, Goudemand, Corentin.

Greece: Robinson, Taukamo, Constantinou, Mougios, Mitsias, Ilias, Meads, Tuliatu, Mamouzelos, Sell, Zampetides, Flocas, Magoulias.

Exchanges: Kambos, Gals, Nianiaks, Dardamanis.

Pool A of the Rugby League World Cup, after one match per team