“We are all invested with a mission. We all have this responsibility to do something great in this World Cup. Antoine Dupont's strong words to the press before the game against the All Blacks set the tone. And the mission starts well, even if the fern team hit hard from the start.
1 minute 32 seconds was the time it took for the All Blacks to score the first try in this opener. Signed Mark Telea, this trial, faster than lightning, hurt. A blow for the men of Galthié. "Movement, made of speed and power", warned Yann Delaigue on Le Point, that's the game of the Blacks.
Author of 17 points, Thomas Ramos did not tremble, he who was however in the sights of New Zealanders, aware of the precision of the French. The skillful Toulouse player is a major asset for the French team for the rest of the competition.
If the Blacks were dominant and confident in the first period, Fabien Galthié's men initially struggled to get their heads above water. The statistics from the first period speak for themselves: 22 missed tackles on the French side… only 3 for the Blacks.
Manhandled, the Blues however did not give up, like the impactful Rochelais Grégory Alldritt. The French also showed a power in the scrum which undermined the All Blacks. A sector where they had also suffered during their last preparation match lost against South Africa (35-7).
At the end of the first period, in a charged atmosphere and overwhelming heat, the defense of the XV of France held up, as evidenced by the raised fist of Damian Penaud after another New Zealand highlight fortunately contained.
It is this same Damian Penaud who will make the difference in the 55th minute of play with the first French try. The winger, in good form during the preparation matches, was not unworthy in fetching the balls. The UBB player, full of desire, becomes the 4th best try scorer in the French XV (30) tied with Philippe Sella!
More aggressive in their game, Fabien Galthié's men finally made the Blacks see life in black. At the very end of the match, Melvin Jaminet drives home the point. Coming into play in the 76th minute, it took him a few minutes to show his potential by scoring a try. A player to follow.
Antoine Dupont, the star of this World Cup, was obviously expected. And the Blues scrum-half showed his power in his kicking game and regained his speed in the second half. But the captain of the XV of France wanted to be realistic: “I think we had an up-and-down match with the pressure of the opening match,” he declared on TF1. And to add: "This All Blacks team put a lot of pressure on us in the rucks but we were able to get out of it. »
The French team won 27-13, the opportunity to break a record held by the All Blacks: the New Zealanders had never lost a match in the group stages in 9 World Cup appearances .
The XV of France takes the lead in Pool A and will face Uruguay on September 14.