Michalak weaves some magic for France as they overcome plucky Canada
France combined flair and force in a 41-18 World Cup victory over Canada in Milton Keynes.
Enigmatic fly-half Frederic Michalak was in majestic form, creating one score for Wesley Fofana, who fluffed another opening after some artistry from his team-mate.
The force came from the forwards as hooker Guilhem Guirado, tighthead prop Rabah Slimani and lock Pascal Pape scored close-range tries.
Debutant wing Remy Grosso added a fifth score, while Michalak finished with an immaculate 14-point haul off the kicking tee.
The 2011 runners-up have a 100 per cent record of three wins from three games in Pool D and next play Ireland on October 11, with top spot in the pool and a more favourable quarter-final draw likely at stake. Ireland first play Italy on Sunday.
It was not always straightforward for Les Bleus.
The Canucks' gutsy performance was rewarded with tries from DTH van der Merwe and Aaron Carpenter, but there was to be no repeat of their solitary win over France, 21 years ago, at the ninth attempt.
Canada play Romania in Leicester next Tuesday, seeking to sign off from the tournament with a win.
Coach Philippe Saint-Andre was happy to see his side notch a third win but was never able to completely relax.
"I was a bit stressed because you never know with the French way, what will happen," he said.
france 41 canada 18