Saturday, June 20, 2009
The All Blacks drew the two Test series with France in a rain drenched Wellington after a 14-10 win that went some way towards redeeming the pride of the nation.
They bounced back well after their 27-22 defeat to Les Blues last weekend, with a much improved forward effort, as they denied France from winning their first series in New Zealand since 1994.
It was a tight and hard old style Test match, with the driving rain doing neither side any favours as the ball resembled a piece of soap at times as it spat out of the grasp of both sides on numerous occasions.
Stephen Donald struggled in the conditions initially, missing his first three kicks, but when Maa Nonu dived over in the first half, New Zealand looked to be taking shape.
Two penalties to Donald and one to his replacement Luke McAllister had the home side in the lead throughout. A superb individual effort from left wing Cedric Heymans kept France in the match though.
Heymans got the ball with very little space to move, so little in fact that it seemed he had stepped out. He hadnt though, and he sensationally went on to beat no less than four players on his way to the tryline for a brilliant individual try.
Scrumhalf Julien Dupuy converted, before his replacement Dimitri Yachvili slotted a penalty, but it wasnt enough as the All Blacks held on for a well deserved win under immense pressure.
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