New Zealand and France met at Eden Park for the first time since the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final for the first of their clashes in three-Test series. France started well, but it was the All Blacks that came away 23-13 victors.
France were clearly up for this one as they started well but couldn’t maintain that form or tempo throughout. Both sides dished up a number of handling errors, which All Blacks coach Steve Hansen in particular wasn’t pleased about.
“Obviously we are not happy with the performance,” said Hansen. “We know it was ugly at times. We’re working on new things and when you do that you make mistakes. We weren’t far away from creating really good opportunities to score tries.
“We will go away and try to get rid of the avoidable errors, of which there were about 25, and work and try to refine what we did and I think we will get a better performance next week.”
France, who were without a number of first choice players, can take positives from the game after having test the World Champions, but coach Phillipe Saint-Andre was disappointed, and realises they have a lot to do next weekend in Christchurch.
“We are very disappointed because we were in the game for 80 minutes. Each time they got the opportunity they scored,” Saint-Andre said. “We broke them seven times and we didn’t finish off. At a high level game like this you need to take advantage of that.
“I think we had the opportunity to win the game or to draw. It is a shame because we don’t have many opportunities to beat New Zealand in New Zealand. We just need to work, have a positive attitude and come back stronger in the second and third tests.”
France face up to the Haka at the first 2013 Test against New Zealand in Auckland
Extended highlights of the New Zealand vs France Test in at Eden Park in Auckland