France made a massive statement as they beat New Zealand by a record margin, 40-25, on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the opening game of the 2023 World Cup.
PLAYER RATINGS | WHO STOOD OUT – AND WHO FLOPPED – FOR THE SPRINGBOKS
Les Bleus claimed a first win over the All Blacks since 2009 thanks to Peato Mauvaka’s double and efforts from Romain Ntamack and Damian Penaud as well as Melvyn Jaminet’s points from the boot.
The hosts dominated the first half in front of a raucous 79,000-capacity crowd at the Stade de France.
They deservedly led 24-6 at the break after Mauvaka’s brace either side of Ntamack’s superb solo effort.
The All Blacks returned from the interval looking to avoid a first defeat in Paris to France since 1973 and cut the deficit to 27-25 with 20 minutes to go as Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea scored.
The tense final quarter was reflected by the passionate home crowd and they were sent into a frenzy as Damian Penaud scored with 11 minutes left to secure a statement-making historic win.
New Zealand lost a second game in the space of seven days after the defeat to Ireland last weekend and conceded 40 points or more for the second time in two years.