Monday, October 8, 2007


France came from 13-0 down to dump favourites New Zealand out of the World Cup and complete a miserable day for the southern hemisphere. Thierry Dusautoir and Yannick Jauzion scored second-half tries to help the hosts to a thrilling 20-18 quarter-final win in Cardiff and secure a last-four clash with England in St Denis next Saturday.
Dan Carter was called on twice in the early stages to find huge clearance kicks as France tried to establish a foothold in the New Zealand 22. The game was held up after only four minutes for French flanker Serge Betsen to receive treatment after being knocked out cold trying to stop All Blacks winger Joe Rokocoko.

He eventually got to his feet but needed to be helped off the field, to be replaced by Imanol Harinordoquy.

It was France who had the first scoring opportunity but Traille was off target with a 40-metre drop-goal attempt.

That gave New Zealand the chance to exert their first pressure of the match, with three-quarters Mils Muliaina and Sitiveni Sivivatu causing problems with their elusive running to set up the position for Carter to open the scoring on 13 minutes with a penalty from in front of the posts.

Centre Luke McAlister then twice split the French defence in quick succession as the All Blacks maintained the momentum.

Lock Ali Williams was denied by a desperate last-gasp tackle from winger Vincent Clerk but there was no stopping McAlister on 17 minutes when he took a return pass from flanker Jerry Collins to touch down for the game's first try.

Carter's conversion made it 10-0.

France's tactics were to kick deep, but the result was they had little ball to play with in their opponents' half. They had a chance to pull three points back on 24 minutes, but Beauxis was wide with an angled penalty shot from 40 metres out.

Carter, on the other hand, maintained his accuracy with a second successful penalty on the half-hour mark - this time from 45 metres - to extend his side's lead to 13-0.

France produced their best spell of the half just before the interval. But a change of marksman did little to change their fortunes, scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Elissalde putting a penalty wide.

It took them until injury time to open their account, Beauxis at last finding the target with a long-range penalty from the last kick of the half.

France looked rejuvenated by the break and harried the All Blacks into making the first handling error of the second half. Winger Cedric Heymans chased the loose ball, but the New Zealand cover got back in time to avert the danger. The French gained some reward for their more enterprising efforts, though, when Beauxis kicked a second penalty after McAlister had been sin-binned on 45 minutes for obstruction.

Even down to 14 men, the All Blacks continued to look dangerous - and only a knock-on by number eight Rodney So'oialo prevented them from capitalising on a perfect attacking position.

Carter was wide with a long-range drop-goal attempt, and New Zealand were still a man down when France drew level through flanker Thierry Dusautoir - who went past Muliaina for his third try for his country, which Beauxis converted.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry responded by withdrawing Carter, sending Nick Evans on in his place for the final quarter.

Evans immediately began to have an impact, and the All Blacks regained the lead on 62 minutes when So'lialo proved unstoppable on a tremendous surge for the line - taking giant lock Jerome Thion over with him. McAlister was unable to add the goal, however, and the miss began to look costly when France went ahead for the first time six minutes later.

An offload from Traille freed replacement fly-half Frederic Michalak, and centre Yannick Jauzion was in support to go over for his side's second try.

Elissalde's conversion edged the French in front, and they were forced to withstand a terrific late onslaught before clinging on for a famous victory - McAlister failing with an ambitious last-minute drop-goal attempt from the halfway line.

New Zealand (13) 18
Try: McAlister, So'oialo
Pens: Carter (2)
Cons: Carter

France (3) 20
Try: Dusautoir, Jauzion
Pens: Beauxis (2)
Cons: Beauxis, Elissalde

New Zealand: MacDonald, Rokocoko, Muliaina, McAlister, Sivivatu, Carter, Kelleher; Woodcock, Oliver, Hayman, Robinson, Williams, Collins, McCaw (capt), So'oialo.

Replacements: Hore, Tialata, Jack, Masoe , Leonard, Evans, Toeava.

France: Traille, Clerc, Marty, Jauzion, Heymans, Beauxis, Elissalde; Milloud, Ibanez (capt), De Villiers, Pelous, Thion, Betsen, Dusautoir, Bonnaire.

Replacements: Szarzewski, Poux, Chabal, Harinordoquy, Michalak, Dominici, Poitrenaud

FRANCE v ALL BLACKS video 1/4 FINAL (20-18)

Haka France All blacks 6 Oct 2007 rugby world cup

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