The French Chanticleers have opened their 2003 International campaign with a 28 � 16 victory over the visiting New Zealand Maori in Carcassonne.
The French, who featured a similar side which will take part in the 2003 Mediterranean Cup in Lebanon, before then running for the chance to become European Champions in November, gelled together well and looked in control for the majority of the match.
C�dric Gay from Toulouse opened the scoring in the game, with the French hooker darting from dummy half in the 11th minute to open up a 6 � 0 lead. France was over again four minutes later when second rower, Djamel Fakir from UTC charged over, with C�dric Gay collecting his second try in the 19th minute.
New Wakefield-Trinity recruit, Sylvain Houles scored next to put France in a commanding 22 � 0 lead before the Maori had a chance to respond.
The visitors, who had recently played in the La Perouse Cup, had no intension of just lying down and hit back with two late tries in the half to go into the break down by 12. Centre Edward Heihei, collected the Maori first try in the 34th minute, whilst stand-off, J�r�my Smith scored on the 39th.
The second half was a lot closer affair, with the defence for both sides stepping up, and only one try a piece being scored. Fakir collected his second, to put France up 28 � 12 in the 61st minute, whilst centre William Puohotaua scored in the 77th minute to seal the final score in the match.
FRANCE CHANTICLEERS 28 Tries: C�dric Gay 2, Djamel Fakir 2, Sylvain Houles Goals: Laurent Frayssinous 4 from 5 Team: Fr�d�ric Banquet, Dimitri Pelo, Sylvain Houles, J�r�me Hermet, Teddy Sadaoui, Laurent Frayssinous, Julien Rinaldi, Olivier Pramil, C�dric Gay, Rachid Hechiche, Pascal Jampy �, Djamel Fakir, Daniel Dumas; Subs: Julien Gerin, Laurent Carrasco, Olivier Elima, Artie Shead defeated NEW ZEALAND MAORI 16 Tries: Edward Heihei, J�r�my Smith, William Puohotaua Goals: Joe Flawell 2 from 3 Team: Rueben Enoka, Phillip Borrell, William Puohotaua, Edward Heihei, Joe Flawell, J�r�my Smith, Aaron Aspin Hermia, Phillip Shead, Herewin Rangi, Haemish Reid, Wanne Barnett, Kurt Cawdron, Richard White; Subs: Wharton, Panatangi, Rota, Gemmell Venue: Carcassonne Date: Wed Oct 15 7:30pm Referee: A. Boulagnon Half time: France 22 - 10 First Try: C�dric Gay (France)