How did the French successfully start their match against New Zealand?

l’essentielThe French have made a successful start, despite being constantly challenged by resilient New Zealanders who should never be underestimated.

Sur la route qui doit les mener à leur premier sacre mondial, les Français ont envoyé un premier message à la concurrence : ils sont prêts à remplir la mission dont ils ont été investis. Imperturbables malgré la pression, les aléas et une défense encore un peu trop perméable.

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Caught off guard at the start of each half, frustrated by a new injury (Marchand was substituted due to a hamstring injury in the 12th minute) following those of Ntamack, Baille, Willemse, and Danty (that’s starting to add up…) and honestly not helped by Mr. Peyper, whose questionable judgments sparked deserved criticism from the stands, they waited for their moment.

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And time has done its work in this war of attrition fought in an absolutely stifling atmosphere. While one would have sworn that the French were more hesitant than their opponents after half an hour of play, they finally gained the upper hand during a second act where the New Zealanders, declining as the minutes went by, committed a lot of fouls.

Le travail d’usure du pack

Everything had started off quite well for them. While Ioane, a constant threat in the center of the field, had calmly maneuvered between Moefana and Fickou on a first-hand launch before being caught by Penaud, Beauden Barrett took advantage of the Blacks’ progress and the disorganization of the Blues to send a diagonal kick that was converted into a try, in the corner and after a bounce, by Telea (2).

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Immediately put back in the saddle by Ramos (3-5, 5) after a scratch from specialist Marchand, Dupont’s teammates were unable to make their mark on the game. This was due to an imprecise kicking game that kept the New Zealanders, who were more skilled in this area, in their own half and limited the number of opportunities for the French.

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On a vite compris pourquoi au premier ballon porté enclenché et déroulé par le pack français (31) qui avait déjà vu Atonio prendre l’ascendant en mêlée sur de Groot avec deux des trois pénalités enquillées par Ramos à la clé (20, 29). Et alors que Telea signait son doublé au retour des vestiaires sur une sautée clairement en-avant de Barrett (13-9, 43), la tendance s’est rapidement inversée.

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Despite several unsuccessful attempts in the « 22 » of the Blacks, the French team was rewarded by Penaud after a perfectly executed turnover by Jalibert (16-13, 55). With Jordan receiving a yellow card (58), Ramos further solidified the French success with successful kicks (65, 74) before Jaminet, who had just entered the game, sealed the victory by taking advantage of a favorable bounce (27-13, 78). The tension at the Stade de France could finally explode, as the World Cup is officially underway!

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