France's Matthieu Laguerre hold off Greece's Theodoros Nianiakas during the Rugby League World Cup group A match between France and Greece at the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster, England, Monday Oct. 17, 2022. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
DONCASTER, England — France warmed up for the Rugby League World Cup clash with England by defeating debutant Greece 34-12 on Monday.
Halfback Arthur Mourgue scored 18 points from a second-half try and seven goals in France’s first World Cup victory since 2013.
Greece was far from outclassed and threatened the French tryline. Greece’s moment to remember was in the 56th minute when center Siteni Taukamo pounced on a neat kick through French lines to score their first World Cup points. Lachlan Ilias added the extras.
They rounded off their big night in style when center Nicholas Mougios surged half the length of the field for Greece’s second try on the final play.
France took 10 minutes to make any sort of impression when Jordan Dezaria squeezed through a gap in the Greek defense.
Greece responded with sustained pressure following Taukamo’s burst from behind his own tryline to halfway, but they failed to capitalize.
France extended its lead when Mourgue’s kick behind caused panic and Tony Gigot sneaked in to touch down as two Greek players fumbled their attempt to shepherd the ball out of touch.
Benjamin Jullien added a third converted try to put France 20-0 up at the break, and Mourgue crossed himself after a neat layoff from Mickael Goudemand.
Taukamo’s big moment drew a rousing cheer from the Doncaster crowd, and Jullien grabbed his second try in the 75th.
France tackle England on Saturday in Bolton, and Greece stays in Doncaster to face Samoa on Sunday.
WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris and other top Biden administration officials held talks on Monday with a member of Israel’s wartime Cabinet who came to Washington in defiance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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