Planet Rugby

French curse strikes NZ again

13th June 2009 08:09

Share:

Trinh Duc scores v NZ in Dunedin

YES! Francois Trinh-Duc celebrates France's first try

France scored their second consecutive win against New Zealand with a well deserved 27-22 victory on their first ever visit to Carisbrook on Saturday.

The visitors scored first and never trailed, eventually outscoring an under-strength All Blacks three tries to two.

A massive defensive display from France was contrasted by a below-par performance from the home team, who were dominated for most of the match.

But nothing should be taken away from France who attacked decisively and made very few errors to record their highest-ever Test score in New Zealand.

France got the scoreboard ticking after enjoying the better of the opening exchanges. The French maul was functioning well and earned the visitors a penalty in accordance with the return to the 'old laws' as the All Blacks pulled it down.

Julien Dupuy opened his account in international rugby without a problem but Stephen Donald leveled the scores ten minutes later after a late tackle from French skipper Thierry Dusautoir.

Les Bleus were competing well in the set pieces, dominating the territory stats in the first quarter and they would be first to cross the whitewash.

A scything run down the inside channel from Francois Trinh-Duc saw the fly-half bounce off four tackles to crash over. Dupuy added the extras to give France a deserved 10-3 lead.

As the French confidence grew, so did the momentum they were gathering. When number eight Louis Picamoles ran a kick back from deep just before the half-hour mark, there was trouble brewing. A wonderful flowing movement in the best traditions of French rugby would follow as the Toulouse back three showed their class, taking the ball up to the corner. Hooker William Servat's bulk did the rest putting the All Blacks further behind. Dupuy was on target from the touchline with the conversion to give the visitors a fourteen-point lead.

The All Blacks had been their own worst enemies and never looked like touching down in the first half-an-hour. They struggled to string any phases together and the tackling just wasn't up to scratch.

The home side looked certain to score when they laid siege to the French try-line with series of drives after Isaac Ross secured possession at an attacking line-out. But all the forwards' hard work in retaining the ball was wasted when Isaia Toeava knocked-on as the ball went wide. It seemed to sum up the All Black performance in the first half.

New Zealand were thrown a lifeline just before the break however. First Donald slotted a penalty on 39 minutes before a try from Liam Messam after the hooter put the All Blacks back in the game.

The French were caught flat-footed when Jimmy Cowan chipped ahead, and not out as they expected as the siren went. Cory Jane plucked the ball from the air to break. Messam was up in support to round off the 70m move and Carisbrook could breathe again. Donald's conversion attempt was wide, leaving the score 17-11 as the teams heading for the changing rooms.

There was a distinct change in momentum in the second period. The All Blacks displayed much more urgency and were rewarded with an early penalty to reduce to gap to three. Donald's next attempt soon afterwards bounced off the post but his third kick in twenty minutes found the mark to level the scores at 17-all.

The All Blacks brought Luke McAlister on at inside centre for the last quarter but it was Dupuy who would put France back in the lead with fifteen minutes to play. His penalty provided France's first points in 37 minutes.

The knock-out blow was soon to follow when full-back Maxime Medard intercepted a pass from McAlister and then outpaced him to score under the posts to give France a ten-point lead.

The home side fought back well and Mils Muliaina's first line-break of the game provided the impetus for Ma'a Nonu to score in the corner with four minutes to play.

But it was too little to late as, once Donald had missed the conversion, the French forwards were able to run down the clock at the death and hand France an historic victory.

Man of the match: Francois Trinh-Duc's running of the game proved decisive.

Moment of the match: Being as Trinh-Duc already has a mention, we'll plump for Maxime Medard's winning intercept try - an inauspicious return for Luke McAlister.

The scorers

For New Zealand:

Tries:Messam, Nonu

Pens: Donald 4

For France:

Tries: Trinh-Duc, Servat, Medard

Cons: Dupuy 3

Pens: Dupuy2

The teams:

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina (c), 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Cory Jane, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 Kieran Read, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Neemia Tialata, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Afoa, 18 Bryn Evans, 19 Tanerau Latimer, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Lelia Masaga.

France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Cedric Heymans , 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Romain Millo-Chluski, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Sylvain Marconnet, 2 William Servat, 1 Fabien Barcella.

Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Nicolas Mas, 18 Sebastien Chabal 19 Julien Puricelli, 20 Dimitri Yachvili, 21 Yannick Jauzion, 22 Alexis Palisson.

Date: Saturday, June 13

Venue: Carisbrook, Dunedin

Weather: 8C. Dry with very light southerly breeze

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)

Assistant referees: Stuart Dickinson (Australia),

Television match official: George Ayoub (Australia)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
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
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
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 Samoa
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina 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
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre 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
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820