Thursday 18 June 2009
French beat All Blacks 27-22 in Dunedin
First off I must say France were incroyable in this game, defence was top drawer and their pack were immense. Despite being outweighed by some 80 kilos at scrum time they shunted their black counterparts about the park with hilarious ease. Their lineout functioned well and the back row of Dusautoir, Ouedrago and Picamoles terrorised the All Blacks at the break down. It was quite impressive.
New Zealand, hampered by the ferocity of the French gameplan, couldn't cope. I've seen All Black teams rattled before but I've never seen one so utterly dominated up front. Their forward pack were a timid bunch, exposed for their lack of experience at Test level. Reid and Thompson had a torrid time on the flank whilst Tialata proved (again) his ineptitude at scrum time.
Behind the pack Donald was all at sea, completely failing to impose any kind of structure on New Zealand's play. Ma'a Nonu was anonymous in the midfield, as was Toeva. Such was the lack of co-ordination in attack and the pressure exerted by the French defence that the ball rarely got out wide to Rockococo or Muiliana, the only two players to show any real threat to the French defence
The close scoreline does not tell the full story of this game; New Zealand were dismantled at the breakdown, hassled on the attack and they had no answers. They were helpless, outclassed. As a neutral it was an amazing spectacle, more of the same this Saturday please.
p.s. I apologise if I spelt any of those Kiwi names wrong, I'm not bothered looking them up