Is there room in Paris’ famous Champs-Élysées for another triumphal arch?
Because after France settled on Friday night with the once mighty (?) All Blacks in the opening match of the World Cup rugby tournament, one can surely excuse the French rugby bosses if they want to postpone the building plans for the time being.
This Hane team, considered by many analysts to be the best group of French rugby players in years, managed to beat the New Zealanders 27 – 13 at a packed Stade de France.
Even in Jonathan Danty, Paul Willemse and Romain Ntamack’s absence, the home team showed that it can still do the talking on the rugby field.
Damain Penaud and Melvyn Jaminet provided the tries, while Thomas Ramos’ learned kicking kept the scoreboard rolling.
Add to that the boiling water game of eighth-man Gregory Alldritt and the adventurous Antoine Dupont and you have a French team that can not only shake off the volatility of old, but is also well on its way to World Cup glory.
An epic way to start #RWC2023
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 8, 2023
For the All Blacks, it was their second defeat in a row – the Springboks had stunned them in a warm-up match at Twickenham, remember – while it is also the first time that they have gone into the group stage of a World Cup tournament as losers from the field. .
The Kiwis folded under the sustained French pressure and Will Jordan’s yellow card in the second half (he flattened Penaud in the air) was the last nail in the three-time champion’s coffin.
“It’s incredible to score almost 30 points against the All Blacks in the opening match of the tournament,” said a satisfied captain Dupont afterwards.
He warned other teams that the French rugby train is still picking up speed.
“Actually, we can play much better. At times it felt like our average game was dishing up, but we were still able to keep the scoreboard going. It is definitely a step in the right direction.”
France: Tries: Damian Penaud and Melvyn Jaminet. Goal kick: Thomas Ramos. Penalties: Ramos (5).
New Zealand: Threes: Mark Telea (2). Penalty kick: Richie Mo’unga.
- Today’s terms:
13:00: Italy vs Namibia
3.30pm: Ireland v Romania
6pm: Australia v Georgia
9pm: England v Argentina