Saturday, November 28, 2009

International Rugby: All Blacks in France

New Zealand v Marseilles

Venue: Stade Velodrome

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)

France gave New Zealand a surprise during their southern tour this year. In the first test, played in Dunedin, France scored an upset 27-22 win over a New Zealand team well below strength. New Zealand recovered to win the second test 14-10. The All Black team in Europe is a stronger unit than that which played France in June.

If the Ireland, South Africa game is between the two champion teams in terms of silverware (Ireland has the 6 Nations Trophy, South Africa the World Cup and the 2009 Tri Nations Trophy), surely this test match is between the two form teams. Ranking first and third on the GWC Rugby Rankings, this is the final of the World Championship.

France defeated South Africa earlier in November, showing they had a forward pack able to match any in the world. They easily accounted for Samoa last weekend.The team is reaching a peak, they are fresher than the New Zealanders and has only lost one game at this stadium in the last 20 years.

New Zealand has three key players in their side that were missing when France won that test in Dunedin in June. Carter, McCaw and Sivivatu bring a solidity to what is a fairly inexperienced All Black side. Despite this they remain undefeated on this tour and a formidable foe for France to beat.

Last Five Encounters
20.06.2009 New Zealand 14-10 in Wellington
13.06.2009 France 27-22 in Dunedin
06.10.2007 France 20-18 in Cardiff (World Cup, Quarter Final)
04.06.2007 New Zealand 61-10 in Wellington
02.06.2007 New Zealand 42-11 in Auckland

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-France 1st, New Zealand 3rd

Prediction: New Zealand by 3



15 Damien Traille
14 Vincent Clerc
13 David Marty
12 Yannick Jauzion
11 Maxime Medard
10 Francois Trinh Duc
9 Julien Dupuy
8 Julien Bonnaire
7 Fulgence Ouedraogo
6 Thierry Dusautoir, Capt.
5 Romain Millo Chluski
4 Sebastien Chabal
3 Sylvain Marconnet
2 William Servat
1 Fabien Barcella
16 Dimitri Szarzewski
17 Nicolas Mas
18 Lionel Nallet
19 Julien Puricelli
20 Morgan Parra
21 Yann David
22 Cedric Heymans
Head Coach: Marc Lievremont


New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina
14 Cory Jane
13 Conrad Smith
12 Ma'a Nonu
11 Sitiveni Sivivatu
10 Daniel Carter
9 James Cowan
8 Kieran Read
7 Richie McCaw, Capt.
6 Jerome Kaino
5 Thomas Donnelly
4 Bradley Thorn
3 Neemia Tialata
2 Andrew Hore
1 Tony Woodcock
16 Corey Flynn
17 Owen Franks
18 Anthony Boric
19 Tanerau Latimer
20 Andrew Ellis
21 Stephen Donald
22 Luke McAlister
Head Coach: Graham Henry

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