Lievremont's 'bitter' pill is sweet for joyous Maka

France 14 Tonga 19

France's coach, Marc Lièvremont, said that with this astonishing defeat, his team had achieved a "bitter" qualification for the World Cup quarter-finals.

Les Bleus needed a late try from the wing Vincent Clerc to take the losing bonus point they needed for second place in Pool A behind New Zealand and a last-eight date with England. Sukanaivalu Hufanga scored Tonga's try and Kurt Morath kicked 14 points.

"I don't think we can be happy with this qualification," said Lièvremont. "It's a bitter qualification but we have qualified. This week will be very important. We've had two defeats from four matches."

Lièvremont again denied there was any unrest and unhappiness within the French squad, and implored his players to show more fight in the knockout stages.

"I trust my players. I want them to fight better. I want them to be more accurate," he said. "I don't think we need to dwell [on] or analyse the technical aspects of the match now. I want them to react and refocus. We have no choice.

"We're still alive. We'restill part of this adventure and I still want to fight and I think my players still want to fight too, though they are disappointed after tonight's performance."

Despite the evidence of scratchy wins over Japan and Canada and defeats by the All Blacks and Tonga, France's captain, Thierry Dusautoir, said his side could beat England.

"After such a defeat like this the group is really upside down," he said. "If we go on playing like this against England we're going to lose and we'll go straight back to France. The group will have to strengthen itself and this is going to be difficult after today. But we've got nothing to lose because we will be the underdogs. "

Tonga's coach, Isitolo Maka, said he hoped his side's superb win would result in more Tests against tier-one nations. When the Tongans faced New Zealand in the World Cup opener last month it was the first time they had played a major team since the previous tournament, in 2007.

"This win has really helped Tongan rugby and I hope the IRB will give us a Test match against a tier-one country," said Maka, who is a former New Zealand back-rower. "For us to beat France is very special. All the Pacific Island teams have done so well. Samoa did a great job last night against South Africa and while they didn't win it did really help us.

"The win tonight, you people don't know what it means to me and to our people back in Tonga," he added. "In Tonga right now our people are going crazy. We are going to get a lot of support when we get to Auckland tomorrow. I think this World Cup has really come alive."

France M Médard; V Clerc, A Rougerie (F Estebanez, 58), M Mermoz, A Palisson (C Heymans, 75); M Parra (F Trinh-Duc, 58), D Yachvili; JB Poux (F Barcella, 6), W Servat (D Szarzewski, 49), L Ducalcon, P Pape (J Pierre, 66), L Nallet, T Dusautoir (capt), R Lakafia, J Bonnaire.

Tonga V Lilo; V Iongi, S Piutau, A Ma'ilei (A Fatafehi, 61), S Hufanga; K Morath, T Moa; S Tonga'uiha (S Taumalolo, 47), A Lutui, K Pulu (N Aulika, 42), T Lokotui, P Hehea (J Tuineau, 57), S Kalamafoni, S Ma'afu, F Maka (S Vahofolau, 10).

Referee S Walsh (Australia).


Try: Clerc

Pens: Yachvili 3


Try: Hufanga

Con: Morath

Pens: Morath 4

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits