Even before the whistle blowed, New Zealand already knew they were not going to play an easy opening match at the Rugby World Cup.
It immediately caught the eye of mother country France, which can entertain a frenzied fan at a sold-out Stade de France. Just before kick-off, the All Blacks also lost their captain, Sam Kean, to injury.
However, it was the guests who got the best start to the match. Just two minutes later, the All Blacks opened the scoring through winger Marc Tilea. New Zealand also held off the French attacks well for the rest of the first half.
But after the break spring exploded for the New Zealanders. Fatigue accumulated in direct proportion to the errors they made in their play. The visitors gave away too many penalties and were beaten by some afterwards Try‘s.
Winger Damien Benaud took advantage of possession in the 54th minute to give France a 16-13 lead. Ramos added two more penalties and Melvin Jamienet scored another goal two minutes from time.
France, who had a dreamy start, handed New Zealand their first defeat in a World Cup pool match.
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