The tournament hosts triumphed 27-13 in Paris


New Zealand had never lost a Rugby World Cup pool match. Until they thwacked into a clammy Stade de France.

Perhaps overwhelmed by the occasion in the first half, France exerted a lot more control in the second as they blasted away from the All Blacks to win 27-13. Not onliy was it a first World Cup pool defeat for the Kiwis ever, it was their biggest World Cup loss. No bonus point. Nothing to show for their few bursts of brilliance.

The hosts are rocking now.

It all started on a bum note for the hosts as the combo of a Rieko Ioane break, Beauden Barrett cross-kick, and Mark Telea try gave the All Blacks a lead not long after 90 seconds. With humid and slick conditions, both teams struggled to get a handle on the game. But the boot of Thomas Ramos ensured that it was France going in 9-8 ahead at half time. The atmosphere was charged…

France came out after the break determined to show control. And although they all but stopped defending as the protested a potential forward pass to Telea as he scored his second (which stood), France were landing more blows. And taking points.

Related: Wild Damian Penaud performance epitomises France

When the breakthrough came and Damian Penaud dived in at the corner – not long after getting the ball dislodged by a Richie Mo’unga cover tackle in almost identical circumstances – the outburst of emotion from the crowd told a story.

With this momentum the noise only grew, with every wallop, forced error, and kick battle won roared hoarse.

When a bewildering bounce saw that same man miss out by inches to reserve Melvyn Jaminet, soaring in the opposite direction as he caught and rolled over for a score, it was job done. France next face Uruguay in Lille, on the 14th, a significant win under their belt and no doubt a hefty dose of confidence.

In times gone by there would be fear that that would damage France. But this side appear to have no fear of being the front-runner.

What did you make of the first World Cup pool defeat for New Zealand and France’s showing? Let us know at or on social media. 

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