Vincent Clerc scored a hat-trick as France finally broke free of an inspired Canada in the last quarter to run out 46-19 winners in a Rugby World Cup pool clash at a rain-soaked McLean Park in Napier on Sunday.
The winger's final try came with 80 minutes already on the clock and ensured the French would have maximum points from their first two games going into the pivotal group match against the All Blacks next weekend.
Damien Traille also crossed for the French but it was the boot of half-back Morgan Parra, who kicked five penalties and four conversions, which kept them ahead of the dogged Canadians for most of the evening.
Canada, who had just a four-day turnaround after their win over Tonga, scored a try of their own through centre Ryan Smith and had two penalties from fullback James Pritchard and a brace of drop goals from first five eight Ander Monro.
France: Tries: Vincent Clerc (3), Damien Traille. Penalties: Morgan Parra (5). Conversions: Parra (4). Drop goal: Francois Trinh-Duc.
Canada: Try: Ryan Smith. Penalties: James Pritchard (2). Conversions: Pritchard. Drop goal: Ander Monro (2).
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa).