Wing Damian Penaud scored in the 76th minute as France beat Australia 30-29 in Paris.

The Wallabies were left ruing a huge opportunity to beat the current Six Nations champions and World Number 2 France, going down 30-29 at Stade de France in Paris. 

In front of a 60,000-strong crowd, the Wallabies scored two scintillating tries through Lalakai Foketi and Jock Campbell in a titanic tussle where momentum and the lead fluctuated at various points in the match.

It took until the dying stages of the match for French winger Damian Penaud to edge the home team in front, producing some slick footwork to score in the corner and ultimately seal the match.

“Our guys are gutted because they emptied the tanks tonight and we were one control or exit away from winning it,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said after the match.

“We’re all pretty disappointed, but I’m happy with the character and attitude shown.

"No one really gave us a chance to come to Paris and take on a side that’s been very impressive over the last 15 months.

“We talked about playing without fear, competing hard and throwing everything at them and we did that for a big chunk of the game.

"It’s a disappointing outcome but proud of the effort."

After the sides traded penalties to start the match, the game came to life in the 18thminute when Bernard Foley collected a chip kick on his own five-metre line and tapped it back to Len Ikitau, who spread the ball wide to Jock Campbell, then Jed Holloway and finally Tom Wright, who flew down the left touchline.

Wright then passed inside to the supporting Campbell, who gave the ball on to Foketi, outsprinting the French defence over the last 40 metres to score a 95-metre stunner and establish a 13-6 lead.

Consecutive penalty goals to the hosts saw the score narrow to a one-point deficit before a Wallabies handling error on the stroke of halftime turned possession over.

The French subsequently kicked ahead with Julien Marchand crashing over from the ensuing ruck to give the home team a 19-13 advantage at the break.

After trading penalties early in the second half, it would be the visitors that again broke the game open, with Jock Campbell in his first start for the Wallabies, scoring out wide after the Wallabies spread the ball in the French 22-metre area.

Foley’s conversion put Australia back in front by one point 23-22, before penalties to both teams advanced the score to 26-25 with eight minutes to play.

France went on the attack late, only stopped by gutsy defence from the visitors before Reece Hodge added another penalty in the 75th minute to give the Wallabies a four-point lead.

In the end, it was Penaud that produced the match-winning magic to put the French in front, stepping past multiple defenders to dive over in the corner and send the French crowd into rapture.

France 30 [Tries: Marchand, Penaud; Con: Ramos; Pens: Ramos 6] Australia 29 [Tries: Foketi, Campbell; Cons: Foley 2; Pens: Foley 4, Hodge]

France: 15 Thomas Ramos; 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Yoram Moefana; 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain); 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Anthony Jelonch; 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki; 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille.
Replacements: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Killian Geraci, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Matthieu Jalibert.

Australia: 15 Jock Campbell; 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Lalakai Foketi, 11 Tom Wright; 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White; 8 Rob Valentini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Jed Holloway; 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Nick Frost; 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 David Porecki, 1 James Slipper (captain).
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Matt Gibson, 18 Tom Robertson, 19 Will Skelton, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 Hunter Paisami, 23 Reece Hodge.

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)