Paris, Sep 8 (EFE).- France opened the Rugby World Cup that started Friday with an important victory, beating New Zealand by 27-13, in a match decided by five penalties by Thomas Ramos.
The duel for the leadership of Pool A was clearly decided by “Les Bleus” in the second half, with a much more intense and ambitious game against the All Blacks, who showed little of the magic they have exhibited in other championships.
Indiscipline at the breakdown and defensive weaknesses told in the last half hour and punished a New Zealand team, who couldn’t do enough despite the brilliance of winger Mark Telea’s two tries.
New Zealand, which already had several important casualties, was dealt a new blow when its captain, Sam Cane, was injured in the warm-up and could not play.
Still, the All Blacks struck very quickly and scored their first try just two minutes in with a sensational crossfield kick from Bauden Barrett for Telea to score, though Ritchie Mo’unga missed the conversion,
France was unfazed and Thomas Ramos scored a penalty in the sixth minute to keep the home team in the game.
Despite their losses due to injury, the New Zealand pack resisted the French onslaught in the first half without conceding tries, while the All Blacks insisted on looking for opportunities on the entire front of the attack and were closer to the line of conversion than the Gauls.
Ramos scored another penalty shot, after a penalty from Ethan De Groot in a scrum, to put France ahead to the delirium of the local fans, who never tired of singing La Marseillaise.
Mo’unga again put the All Blacks ahead, but their joy was short-lived as another collapsed scrum cost them another penalty that Ramos converted once again.
But the Frenchman missed and half time came with a 9-8 in favor of France.
France came out like a storm and almost scored, but a quick counterattack by the All Blacks meant Telea’s second try after a great penetration by Will Jordan.
Mo’unga, who did not have a great night, missed the conversion again, allowing the French to remain very close on the scoreboard.
They took advantage of their chance with a great try from one of their great stars, wing Damien Penaud, which Ramos converted again to put France ahead again 16-13.
Jordan then received a yellow card for tackling Ramos in the air, which left the All Blacks with a man less for 10 minutes and further complicated their chances of recovery.
Ramos scored another penalty to open the gap 19-13 in the 65th minute and the French didn’t look back.
Jaminet’s final try rounded out the score and underlined a dream victory for France, which has historically had one of the teams that has suffered the most defeats in New Zealand. EFE