Les Bleus certified for the quarterfinals with the victory however have been nearly left with purple faces after a late Samoa attempt left them hanging on to say a 3rd straight win within the match.
England awaits subsequent weekend for France, which must enhance its efficiency if it desires to high the pool.
Trailing 23-14 with the clock operating down, Tonga launched one last assault with Zane Kapeli gathering a crossfield kick for its third attempt, transformed by Latiume Fosita.
Thankfully for the French there was barely time for a restart, however coach Jacques Brunel was sad with the show.
“We missed three or 4 possibilities after which we tightened up. There was rigidity, errors, we can not handle the second half, particularly in the beginning,” he mentioned.
France, going into the match off the again of wins over Argentina, impressively, and the USA, much less so, made a assured begin and was 17-Zero forward within the first half.
Virimi Vakatawa and Alivereti Raka went over for tries for France, each transformed by Romain Ntamack, who additionally kicked an early penalty.
However the Tonga fightback began simply earlier than the interval as Sonatane Takulua was judged to have grounded the ball over the road, getting as much as make the conversion.
French concern elevated early within the second half as Malietoa Hingano capitalized on hesitant protection to go over for a second Tonga attempt, with Takulua kicking the extras once more.
Two penalties from Ntamack gave France respiration area, main by 9 factors till Tonga’s final heroic effort yielded a 3rd attempt as Kapeli took the chance.
Tonga coach Toutai Kefu was left to ponder what may need been an upset win over a Tier 1 nation.
“There was a interval there when the sport was within the steadiness. And the blokes hung in they usually hung in. You’ll be able to’t query their effort,” he mentioned.
All Black energy
Earlier Sunday, two-time defending champion and match favourite New Zealand crushed Namibia 71-9, with 11 tries, topping Pool B from South Africa with one match remaining.
Nevertheless it was a courageous exhibiting for the underdog Namibia, which solely trailed 10-9 after 30 minutes till the All Blacks stepped up a gear.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was lower than impressed by his aspect’s sloppy opening.
“The primary half was fairly disappointing. We did not flip up with the angle and Namibia made us pay for that. It is a good lesson, is not it?
“Second half, there was fairly good things in it,” he added.
Namibia’s Welsh coach Phil Davies praised his aspect’s early contribution: “I am very happy with the hassle we put in. Significantly our ball retention and line breaks within the first half,” he mentioned.
Nonetheless, New Zealand’s play as soon as it absolutely kicked into gear was spectacular with Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown and Ben Smith all crossing for 2 tries apiece.
Angus Ta’ava, Joe Moody, Sam Whitelock, Jordie Barrett and TJ Perenara additionally went over, the latter rounding off the efficiency with a spectacular one-handed effort within the nook.
Stand-in fly half Barrett, singled out by Hansen for particular reward, added eight conversions in a private haul of 21 factors.
Damian Stevens had kicked Namibia into an early Three-Zero lead and added two additional penalties within the intently contested early play.