All Blacks withstand France fightback to win in Paris

All Blacks withstand France fightback to win in Paris

All Blacks withstand France fightback to win in Paris

The All Blacks have held off a second half comeback by France to take the one-off test match in the Stade de France in Paris 38-18.

Ryan Crotty chalked up the landmark score as four first half tries - the others from Dane Coles, Waisake Naholo and Sam Cane - gave the All Blacks a 31-5 half-time lead on Armistice Day.

Beauden Barrett scored 13 points from the tee in a flawless display of kicking on a night which saw New Zealand became the first global team to score 2,000 Test tries in hard conditions due to rain in the French capital.

Yet right from the resulting scrum typically quick passing and a clever line run by Coles saw the hooker go through a gap to score the opening try of the game.

Teddy Thomas crossed for France on his return to the fold after a two-year absence while a penalty try helped close the gap before Naholo grabbed his second in the final minute to prevent New Zealand from being kept scoreless after the break.

France were struggling to contain New Zealand's rapid brand of running rugby and were frequently scrambling in defence deep inside their own 22.

France were creaking and following a series of scrums, a long skip-pass from Barrett found Naholo in acres of space to stroll over for the second try.

Fly-half Anthony Belleau, one of three France players making his debut from the start, was on target with two penalties and caught the eye along with scrum-half Antoine Dupont against a New Zealand side that included big guns who were rested for the win over the Barbarians.

Williams was shown a yellow card early in the second half for an infringement and France were awarded a penalty try as New Zealand lost their composure when captain Kieran Read came off injured in the 47th minute.

All Blacks hold off France.

Debutant five-eighth Anthony Belleau landed penalty goals either side of the penalty try.

The Stade de France crowd roared as Thomas again dived over, but Australian referee Angus Gardner ruled that the wing's foot had touched the touchline before he put the ball down.

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