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
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
Friday , December 5
Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers 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
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues 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
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia 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
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821