Planet Rugby

All Blacks pushed hard in Paris

09th November 2013 21:50

Share:

New Zealand Charles Piutau R celebrates with Kieran Read after scoring v France

Top class: Charles Piutau

The All Blacks took a step closer to completing their quest to finish the year unbeaten with a 26-19 victory over France on Saturday.

The result, New Zealand's fourth win over les Bleus in 2013, leaves Steve Hansen's team with 12 wins from 12 starts ahead of next weekend's game against England, but they were made to work very hard at the Stade de France.

When the dust had settled, the tourists had outscored France two tries to one in a gripping encounter on the outskirts of the French capital.

Against all expectations, France were level with the world champions at 9-all at half-time. In fact, les Bleus could very easily have been ahead had it not been for Morgan Parra missing two relatively easy penalty kicks.

But, true to form, New Zealand raised the tempo in the second-half and made scoring two excellent tries - via Charlie Piutau and Kieran Read - look easy.

France replied through a top-quality try from full-back Brice Dulin and finished the game camped on the New Zealand line.

In the end, the surface at the Stade de France let the home team down as it disintegrated, preventing the dominant French scrum from pushing on for a draw-saving try, that certainly looked on.

Having survived a close shave in the second minute - when Cory Jane came within inches of scoring a try - France grew in confidence as the first-half unfolded.

Parra traded three-pointers with Dan Carter as the French paid the All Blacks' reputation very little respect and progressively took the game to their visitors, finishing the half camped in New Zealand territory.

The trend continued after the break as Parra briefly put France in front only to see Carter reply.

In typical fashion, the All Blacks would score the first try from inside their own half to punish a poor French kick as Charlie Piutau chased down Ben Smith's kick ahead, showing dazzling pace and some decent soccer skills to pounce.

The second came just after the hour mark as Piutau's fantastic offload out the back of his hand was collected by Kieran Read, who cruised home.

The result looked settled but France hit back almost immediately as Dulin finished off a slick backline move that saw Rémi Talès and Gael Fickou combine.

It was all-France in the closing stages, but after series of reset scrums five metres short of the New Zeland line, referee Jaco Peyper spotted Damien Chouly use his hand in the scrum, ending the hosts' hopes of forcing a shock result.

Man of the match: A number of candidates from both sides but we couldn't look past Charlie Piutau, who scored one try and brilliantly created New Zealand's other.

Moment of the match: France managed to get over the whitewash in the dying moments but the ball was obscured for the view of the cameras. Ask any Frenchman, and he'll tell you they deserved a draw.

The scorers:

For France:
Try: Dulin
Con: Parra
Pens: Parra 4

For New Zealand:
Tries: Piutau, Read
Cons: Carter, Cruden
Pens: Carter 4

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Médard 10 Rémi Talès, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Papé, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Gael Fickou.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Ben Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charlie Piutau, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Ryan Crotty.

Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820