The French national rugby team won against the All Blacks (27-13) on Friday, September 8th at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, during the opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
However, everything had started off very poorly: shortly after the kickoff and the clearance by the French team, Rieko Ioane broke through the blue defense line before being stopped at the French 22 meters, and a few plays later, Beauden Barrett delivered a perfect pass to winger Mark Telea to electrify the Stade de France right from the start (0-5, 2nd minute).
Sûrement happés par l’enjeu d’un tel match et donc surpris dès l’entame de jeu après un splendide haka néo-zélandais, les Français ont quand même réagi dans la foulée, Thomas Ramos récompensant une pénalité d’un bon grattage de Julien Marchand proche des poteaux des All Blacks (3-5, 5e).
Marchand sort blessé
A few minutes later, the hooker of Stade Toulousain unfortunately had to leave the field due to an injury caused by a tackle on him, possibly affecting his knee or thigh. However, Ramos scored a second penalty to give Fabien Galthié’s team the advantage (6-5, 19th minute).
The back and forth continued in this first period as the All Blacks regained the lead after a period of French line bombardment by earning a penalty (6-8, 25th minute).
However, thanks to the dominance of the French scrum in this first half, Ramos successfully kicked a third penalty to regain the lead (9-8, 28th minute), rewarding a penalty earned by his forwards in this area just before halftime.
Penaud misses an opportunity, not the second one.
Like at the beginning of the first half, the French XV was once again caught off guard at the start of the second half: after a breakthrough with a kick above the French defense line, Ioane made a long pass to Telea on the wing – possibly forward – allowing him to score a double (9-13, 43rd minute).
Damian Penaud pensait d’abord inscrire le premier essai du XV de France dans cette compétition, après une diagonale de Matthieu Jalibert mais Richie Mo’unga le plaquait juste avant la ligne pour éviter l’essai.
Immediately after, the French team was awarded a penalty within the 22-meter line, which they kicked into touch. With a brilliant move by Matthieu Jalibert, Penaud scored his 30th try for the French team, which was successfully converted by Ramos (16-13, 55th minute).
Ramos et Jaminet libèrent le Stade de France
In addition to scoring this first try, New Zealand was reduced to 14 players shortly after due to a high tackle by Will Jordan on a caught kick by Ramos (57th minute). Although this yellow card was not turned into a red card after the bunker procedure, the French team took advantage of it to score three more points through Ramos, once again on a penalty kick (19-13, 65th minute).
After this fourth penalty, the fullback of the French XV and Stade Toulousain even secured his team from a converted try with a successful fifth kick (22-13, 73rd minute). Replacing the outstanding Ramos, Jaminet then scored the winning try a few minutes before the end, causing the Stade de France to erupt (27-13, 78th minute).