Saturday, June 13, 2009
France put in a massive defensive effort and capitalised on opposition mistakes as they beat New Zealand 27-22 at Carisbrook in Dunedin in the first of their two Tests.
The home side made costly errors that resulted in France punishing them The All Blacks were guilty of putting in a rare poor defensive showing at times, as Francois Trinh-Duc proved for the first try as he broke through numerous tackles and powered over.
Hooker William Servat crashed over a little later, and France had a 17-3 lead which put them in a commanding position. A spirited fightback by New Zealand followed though, starting with a Liam Messam try on the stroke of halftime.
The hosts got the scores up to 17-17, but as they struggled to break the stubborn French defensive line, the returning Luke McAlister forced a pass which was intercepted by Maxime Medard.
It was the final nail in the coffin, and despite a late Ma'a Nonu try, France held on to record a famous win in New Zealand.
Speaking ahead of the match, captain Thierry Dusautoir said: "They are a mythical team - to beat the All Blacks it's always the pinnacle of a player's career, especially in New Zealand because very few French teams have done that."