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France vs Tonga, Rugby World Cup 2019 LIVE result: Les Bleus survive Tonga scare to secure quarter-final berth

Follow all the live action from the Kumamoto Stadium

Harry Latham-Coyle
Sunday 06 October 2019 10:55
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Rugby World Cup 2019 in numbers

France survived a serious scare from Tonga to progress through to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in Kumamoto.

With the Pacific Islanders evoking memories of their triumph in New Zealand over the French eight years ago, Toutai Kefu's side pushed Les Bleus all the way, falling by two points as France secured a tight 23-21 victory,

France have thus secured qualification for the knockout stages, but another lacklustre showing leaves them looking vulnerable ahead of a Pool C decider against England, and likely quarter-final meeting with Wales. Relive all of the action as it happened below:

What time is it?

France vs Tonga kicks off at 4.45pm Japan Standard Time, which is 8.45am BST, on Sunday 6 October.

Where can I watch it?

The match will be broadcast on ITV, with coverage starting at 8.15am. Alternatively, you can live stream it via the ITV Hub on your smartphone, laptop and tablet.

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Hello all and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of this morning's Rugby World Cup clash between France and Tonga.

We'll be bringing you all the live action, reaction and analysis - so make sure to stay tuned!

Samuel Lovett6 October 2019 05:55
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Good morning all. 

The final Rugby World Cup venue makes its bow today, Kumamoto Stadium playing host to a clash between France and Tonga, with Les Bleus seeking a third win that would send them through to the quarter-finals.

Few people will give this struggling Tonga side too much of a chance, but do not forget that 2011 World Cup victory over the French - if you are off your game, the Pacific Islanders can pounce. Kick-off is about half-an-hour away...

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:16
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Team News - France

France were scratchy and sloppy last time out against the USA. They make eleven changes, with Jefferson Poirot captaining on the looshead.

Baptiste Serin and Romain Ntamack form ANOTHER new half-back partnership, while Alivereti Raka keeps his place on the wing, where he is joined by Clermont Auvergne team mate Damain Penaud, pleasingly over an injury worry.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:20
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Team News - Tonga

Tonga stumbled out of the blocks against Argentina, but responded well and had an excellent second half. Toutai Kefu makes just two changes, with Cooper Vuna back on the wing and Ma'afu Fia in for the absent Ben Tameifuna at tighthead.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:24
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It is tough to know what to think of France. They were awful in the second half in their opening game against Argentina, and a better side than the USA would have taken them to the cleaners last time out.

But here they are knowing a win takes them through after Argentina fell to England yesterday. Curious. There are still a number of questions over how Jacques Brunel is building his side, and there are a couple of intriguing decisions made in his team today. Sofiane Guitoune starts at 12 but is more of a 13, and he and Virimi Vakatawa form a dangerous midfield, but one that could be a little defensively vulnerable. We'll see how they go...

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:31
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Tangential to today's game, but check out this try from the French Top 14 yesterday. Should be illegal. Naughty stuff from Bayonne.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:32
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What of Tonga, then? They are a relatively tough side to assess after two games, with England and Argentina both too strong despite battling performances. This pack is rather large, and it is in the back five of the pack that Tonga's real strength lies - ball-carriers aplenty, and Sam Lousi is one of the most underrated locks in rugby. He's on his way to the Scarlets next year, so if you are of a Welsh persuasion look out for the sizeable frame of the second row.

Behind the scrum this is a battle-hardened group of backs, with Siale Piatau a consistent competitor and captain in the centres. Telusa Veainu highlighted his importance with two tries against Argentina, and Tonga will be looking to get the ball in the arch-dancer's hands early and often.

Trust me, if France have an off day, this Tonga side certainly can beat them. And the off days come rather often for this mercurial French outfit. We are on upset alert...

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:38
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Out for the anthems the players wander. Tonga are in their change kit, a white number with red accenting. Rather nice. 

The stadium looks completely full on a nice day in Kumamoto. Doesn't look quite as humid as it has been elsewhere in the tournament so far.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:43
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Squeezing of the shoulders as France finish their anthem. They are ready/

Sipi Tau time, Tonga in formation, with Sonatane Takulua leading their war dance from the front. Forward they come as the crowd roars, laying down the gauntlet. A couple of the French players smirk. Not phased.

One late change for Tonga, by the way, with Daniel Faleafa in for Sitiveni Mafi on the bench.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:46
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Nic Berry blows his whistle and France get us underway in Kumamoto.

Harry Latham-Coyle6 October 2019 08:47

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