The World 2023: France and New Zealand, an international rugby “classic”

The French will find the New Zealanders they know well in the group stage of the 2023 World Cup. The matches they were most often defeated from have earned them some unforgettable feats.

. Pioneers 1979

For French rugby players, moving to New Zealand in the summer has long sounded like Stations of the Cross. The 1979 tour began on the same basis until the second match, 14 July at Eden Park in Auckland. After two defeats, the French regained, led by Jean-Pierre Reeves against the Black Fleet. Before the break, the Blues pay to show their superiority and score four attempts before the resistance in the last moments, to finally win (24-19). A historic first victory in New Zealand, aptly celebrated the following day in Tahiti, where the fifteen champions were able, through the travel delay mechanism, to experience the July 14th in a row.

. Hopes swept in 1987

Second row Jean Condom (c) and the Frenchman, overshadowed by the firepower of New Zealand, lost 29-9, during the First Rugby World Cup in Eden Park, Auckland, on June 20, 1987 (AFP / Archives – GEORGES GOBET)

In the first World Cup in history, the French return to Eden Park. Overwhelmed by New Zealand’s firepower, coach Jacques Foroux’s men tried to fight back in the first half but ended up collapsing after the break, before Pierre Berbesier scored an attempt for honor. They lost 9-9 and the All Blacks became the first rugby world champions.

. Apocalypse Essay 1994

To win the first round in history with the legendary All Blacks, the French had to score. After winning in Christchurch, return to Eden Park for a second meeting on July 3, 1994. At the end of the match in which the two teams surrender, the 15th of France leads 20-16. French captain Philippe Saint-Andre sounds the charge one minute after the siren. A pass after touches and crosses are interconnected and after 80 meters, Jean-Luc Sadorny ends up settling a ball that has passed into the hands of nine blue players. A “test at the end of the world” to the 23-20 win that wraps up the only round the French have won in New Zealand.

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. The Astonishing Half of 1999

France's 15th players rejoice after the blacks were eliminated in the semi-finals of the English World Cup, on October 31, 1999 in Twickenham (AFP / Archives - JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU)

France’s 15th players rejoice after the blacks were eliminated in the semi-finals of the English World Cup, on October 31, 1999 in Twickenham (AFP / Archives – JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU)

The blacks and the French meet in Twickenham, at the gates of the 1999 World Cup final. The two teams are fighting a high level competition, until Jonah Lomo breaks through the French defense to score two attempts. The 15th France reacted first with the shoes of Christophe Lamizon, then with tests borrowed from + French Flair + signed by Dominici, Dourthe and Bernat-Salles. The final score, 43-31, shows the intensity of a meeting in the Pantheon World Cup. The French will lose in the final to Australia.

. The successful challenge of 2007

For the first World Cup in France, the Blues took second place in their group, and thus blacks should be “welcomed” in Cardiff, where some matches were transferred. But the French immediately chose to challenge the New Zealanders: wearing blue, white, and red shirts, standing a meter away from their opponents during the hakka. What follows is an extension of this challenge. Led by 13-3 at break, the French rebelled in the wake of Thierry Dossaire in a mad tackle, whose impressive performance was punctuated by a test. Yannick Gauzion scored the winning attempt 10 minutes before the end, changed by Elsalde, who sent France to the semi-finals, where she would be defeated by England.

. Blue Frustration of 2011

In their den in Eden Park, the New Zealanders finally want to win their second world title. Facing them, the French created through the hakka and formed the letter V, advancing towards the blacks. As it happened in 2007, a test by Dusautoir allowed the French to return to the match 30 minutes after the end (8-7) but the All Blacks did not crack and win their second Webb Ellis Cup at home. The disappointment is immense for Mark Livermont and his players, who have never looked so close to the planet title.

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. Humiliation 2015

Before facing New Zealand in Cardiff in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals, the French see themselves doing it again in 2007. But this time, the run has been very loud. The Blues dominate in all areas of the game and never compete with the indefensible Blacks of the team who will become world champions for the third time in two weeks. France conceded nine attempts against 62-13, which was the fiercest defeat in history for the French in the World Cup.

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