Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Zealand hold off late charge by spirited France side

New Zealand held off a late France surge at the Stade de France, hanging on to maintain their unbeaten record and leave with a 26-19 victory over Les Blues. Winger Charles Piutau scored a try and set up Kieran Read with a brilliant piece of play.

Both Dan Carter and Morgan Parra kicked 14 points for their respective sides, but it was the two tries to one of New Zealand that edged them ahead, withstanding a spirited late French effort.

France had their tails up with a series of scrums in the final minutes, but they couldn't force their way over and snatch a draw. Manager Philippe Saint-Andre felt that it could have been different.

"The players are sad because we had all the ingredients for a victory but we lacked accuracy, especially in the first half when we should have been ahead," he said to reporters post match.

"We have courage and desire, but it's the little details that make the difference. We were good in the scrum, apart from the last one, when we're penalised.

"We have the character. At some point we were 14 points behind and we find the resources to come back in the game and we almost snatched the draw. It shows this team has courage," he added.

France meet Tonga next, while New Zealand have a big meeting with England at Twickenham.

Posted at 8:49 am | 27 comments

Posted in All Blacks

Viewing 27 comments

gare November 12, 2013 11:12 am

Fofana is so brilliant!

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flanker2712 November 12, 2013 11:59 am

Referees and touch judges are usually pretty good with spotting players ahead of the kicker. Strange that they were missed in both the winning try for NZ and the winning try for SA at the weekend. I'm not complaining, I'm not bitter, I understand its part of sport... but given what some referees are holding up play for these days to go to TV ref, these incidents seemed a little strange.

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flanker2712 November 12, 2013 12:01 pm

Sorry, I meant 1st try, not winning try.

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45678 November 12, 2013 1:17 pm

Agree, well in front. If he had a rose on his shirt we would be hearing much more about biased officials killing the game / affecting the result, but as it's the kiwis we'll just ignore it

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moddeur November 12, 2013 9:16 pm

A bit in front, not so blantantly offside. The French commentators didn't even mention it during the game. But on the 2nd NZ try there is only one person to blame: Huget (French winger who gets sucked in and leaves 2 opponents on his empty wing). Maybe the Blacks are beatable after all :)

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Canadian content November 13, 2013 10:57 pm

Agreed, no need at all to leave Reid and help with the tackle, which was being made by two other defenders. He stays on his man and it's just another ruck. But it's a split decision made at high speed, maybe he thinks he can steal it at the ruck, so you have to credit the centre.

All this being said, doesn't Reid look like the coolest guy to play with? A RWC winner and still celebrating a great pass like a little kid.

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Leadbitter November 12, 2013 1:08 pm

Ready for the taking...c'mon England!

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Colombes November 12, 2013 3:51 pm

Fine game by France
Defeat apart, they showed some good signs before South Africa and 6N

Good points: authority in the rucks vs richeat mccaw, scrum domination (apart the last one) and some creativity in the backs
Dark ones: previsible throw-in combinations and too much players involved in mauls... which means too less players in open play

Like many french fans, i don't always really get St-André tactics.. but he should install a 10 next to Parra! Where are Lopez, FTD or Plisson...? Talès was good, but is he really a solution for the future?

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Paul November 12, 2013 6:04 pm

There's no shame in having a good game against the ABs. Well done Les Bleus.

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Guest November 12, 2013 6:15 pm

Like Mike Brown's foot in touch in the lead up to the try against Aussie, like Harley's block in the try against the Aussie and like Ashton's arm in touch as he grounded against the Argies...Your insinuation of refs biasis seems a bit misplaced. Refs get most calls right & some wrong.

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45678 November 12, 2013 8:05 pm

I agree that officials are mostly good. From an England supporter view, you are damned if you get a bit of fortune. not every other team comes in for the same vitriolic criticism for minor infringements like being in front of a kicker. We get a solid week of negative press

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Big Jim November 12, 2013 6:20 pm

You know...with all the issues with the new scrummaging laws, how the hell did the ref miss the French Loosehead prop literally turn in at a 90 degree angle in the first scrum on the video?

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dave November 12, 2013 7:04 pm

is it just me or did other's get the vibe the all blacks loosehead kept collapsing the scrum near the end so the french couldn't get the all out for the potential game tying try?
the ref was on the other side watching the ab's tighthead so he missed it
if so what a heart breaker for the french losing to the all cheats "mighty" scrum

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moddeur November 12, 2013 9:13 pm

That's experience for you. First scrum the tight head goes down, next scrum the loose head goes down, etc (opposite of wherever the referee is).

Anyhow a good game of rugby, the referee was quite alright, apart for the odd bad call here and there (on both sides).

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joeythelemur November 12, 2013 7:57 pm

Wow, an awful lot of cheating accusations flying here today.

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AJ_Capote November 12, 2013 8:19 pm

I think Eng vs NZ will be closer than the doom merchants are making out. England will step up, they always do - every nation has teams that they play better against. Wales ALWAYs play better vs England for example. England always play better against NZ. So I think the energy and intensity of the first half vs Argentina will be sustained for longer.

Very frustrated that players are falling out with such niggling injuries - is it me or is there a surprisingly long injury list currently for England? And on an aside, why is it every season Leicester loose half their squad to injury and a couple to season-ending injuries? What kind of pre-season training do they do?!

So it's frustrating that we'll likely have a rookie at loosehead. Corbisiero is a huge weapon for us. One of these days someone is going to have to re-write Sheridan's contract - it's still a travesty that a talent like him isn't playing internationally.

I think the game will be close. NZ will bag it but it certainly won't be a one-sided score. England's sheer intensity and muscle in the pack/breakdown will help the backs get into the game.

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Facepalm November 12, 2013 10:18 pm

"England always play better against NZ".

I..err...what?

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kadova November 12, 2013 10:42 pm

Agreed. England won the match against NZ last year, and they suddenly play better against the ABs ?
I bet you the ABs will do their best to erase that win.
Their press is complaining that they were not at their best agaisnt France.

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Guest Macao November 13, 2013 6:34 am

great game to watch, AB are the best and we know why now.
just would like to know why number 5 black was not sanctioned for tackling number 14 blue at 1.30. number 10 seems to have free hand to pass, but player is taken out... did not see it much on the live game, but seeing that video, seems quite obvious.
Anyway, they are the best and they will prove it Saturday again!!!

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Frenchie November 13, 2013 6:25 pm

Something that annoyed me: NZ seemed to push the scrum way before the referee command. Am I the only one to notice that?

The 7 points difference come from great skills but i agree Huget got sucked in. The French need to get in the game quicker for both half times (sic?, halves?)
Frustrating…

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Frenchie November 13, 2013 6:33 pm

The French lacked some experience also: Chouly (8) leaving the maul too early, going solo (Huget was left alone on the wing) and being turned on the try line. Then in the last scrum when Chouly again commits a stupid and criminal mistake using his hands.

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Canadian content November 13, 2013 11:00 pm

NZ are rightfully tired and at the end of their year, whereas England are relatively fresh. That being said, the red rose has not been exactly setting the rugby world afire in the last two matches and NZ have looked awesome all season. NZ by 5.

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Fuji November 14, 2013 2:53 am

Thats right Frenchie, "Chouly AGAIN commits a stupid and criminal mistake using his hands". The French are the Biggest Cheats in the modern game ! And to all of you who think the All blacks are cheaters. I will pray for you all that you may witness a great game when one is played. That was a great game. The French lost, All Blacks won. The All Blacks are playing well. All Blacks to beat the Poms, Handsomely!!!

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GG November 14, 2013 2:03 pm

That was a great game and even though France lost, I've seen some very positive signs.

To Fuji: "French are the Biggest Cheats in the modern game" - Are you not a bit excessive here???? There's player cheating in every single team, even in the NZL one.

Rugby is a game of respect and you clearly belong to the soccer world if you're using this type of statement!

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Frenchie November 14, 2013 6:59 pm

@ Fuji: Thanks for your bias comment, so typical!
I don't think the French are the biggest cheats…at least when they do cheat they get penalized for it. As the world knows the KIWIS CHEAT AND GET AWAY WITH IT.

Go on england!

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Fuji November 15, 2013 1:49 am

Frenchie, I owe you an apology. It was an unfair comment that I hastly made. i also apolygies to everyone that may have been offended by my comments about France. France is a great team and so is South Africa, England, Australia. There has been some great games lately which has been long time overdue.
All the best to England and the All Blacks, Give us another great game!

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Pagra November 25, 2013 3:53 pm

Rugby players are pragmatists when it comes to cheating. Especially at international level where it is an art form. But to commit a faux pas in front of the referee is stupid. And when it costs your side points it is hard to forgive.

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