France produced one of the best performances of the season to hammer the All Blacks 40-25 in Paris on Saturday.
In the proverbial game of two halves, France outscored the All Blacks 24-6 after complete and total domination in the opening 40 minutes, while New Zealand, as expected, launched a momentous comeback to win the second stanza 19-16.
But France found their second wind in the final quarter to ultimately seal a well-deserved 40-25 triumph in an enticing clash that exposed many flaws in the All Blacks’ game.
Looking as lethargic as they did against Ireland last week, the All Blacks were played off their feet by the French, whose points were courtesy of a try double by hooker Peato Mauvaka and Romain Ntamack and three kicks from Melvyn Jaminet.
Jordie Barrett accounted for New Zealand’s first-half points with two penalties.
There was a burst of energy from the tourists at the start of the second half as they racked up three tries while conceding only one penalty to move within two points on the scoreboard and set up a grandstand finale in the last 20 minutes.
But, as it turned out, that would be as good as it got for the visitors, with France scoring 13 unanswered points late in the game to seal a rare win against the All Blacks.