A grand feat! The XV of France offered a record success in front of New Zealand (40-25), triple world champion, Saturday at the Stade de France, after a thrilling meeting marked by a double from Peato Mauvaka.
In front of 80,000 spectators in turmoil, the Blues of Fabien Galthié struck a blow against one of the world references, less than two years from the opening match of the next World Cup (September 8 – October 28, 2023), organized in France, facing these same All Blacks.
They thus end their November series on a perfect balance sheet with three successes in as many matches after having already beaten Argentina (29-20) and Georgia (41-15).
Thanks to four tries against three opposing side, the young French (25 years old, 18 selections on average) came to the end of a team they had not dominated since June 13, 2009 and a victory in Dunedin (27- 22) during a summer tour of the Antipodes. And this with the widest gap in their history vis-à-vis the fern selection!
To find traces of a tricolor victory in front of the New Zealanders in France, it was necessary to go back much further, in 2000, when the XV of France of Bernard Laporte had won at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille (42-33) . Coach Galthié was still the scrum half of the Blues.
The men in black, World Cup winners in 1987, 2011 and 2015, remained on fourteen consecutive victories against the French. But on Saturday evening, in front of a conquered audience who sang the Marseillaise à cappella during the hymns, they fell on a bone.
The fall series ends with a flop for Sam Whitelock and his partners, already beaten last Saturday in Ireland (29-20). Two defeats in a row for New Zealand, this is only the ninth time this has happened since 1995 and the advent of the professional age.
The Blues delivered a recital in the first period, concluded on three zero tries, overflowing the Blacks guilty of hand errors and technical errors.
Hooker Peato Mauvaka, for his second tenure in the absence of Julien Marchand, forfeit, took advantage of two balls carried meticulously built by his clan to offer himself a double (3rd, 33rd), as against Georgia last Sunday in Bordeaux. In three fall matches, the Toulousain scored five tries.
Romain Ntamack, replaced at the opening, distinguished himself by scoring the second solo attempt after a fake pass followed by an acceleration that pierced a double curtain of five New Zealand defenders.
At the break, the Blues led by eighteen points (24-6), a gap already unheard of in their favor in front of the Blacks. But when they got back from the locker room, they slackened and opened intervals for upset New Zealanders.
Crestfallen gives oxygen
Authors in their turn of three tries in less than fifteen minutes (Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea), the Kiwis have returned within gun range (27-25).
But an interception by winger Damian Penaud allowed the Blues to regain oxygen in the score (37-25). The Clermontois, top tricolor scorer this year, offered his seventh try in 2021 and the back Melvyn Jaminet continued his flawless performance in front of the poles (20 points in total).
The French back lines continued to put pressure on New Zealand defenders to hold the score. And Jaminet finished work on a new penalty, his fourth successful, to give the Bleux a record victory. The previous one, 22-8 in Cristchurch, dated back to 1994.
Earlier in the day in Castres, the French also dominated the New Zealand women (29-7) thus signing a second success in eight days against the reigning world champions, already beaten in Pau (38-13), on Saturday latest. Magical!
Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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