Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
This is the game. There was always going to be the possibility that New Zealand and France would clash at this stage of the finals. There is such a long history between these two teams at World Cup finals.
France’s lead up to this game has not been impressive. A loss to Ireland in the final pool game has fuelled speculation of a rift within the French camp. This may well be so. But don’t let it put you off. France has the ability to turn this game on its head despite what has gone on before.
New Zealand has also not been that impressive but the teams own standards. There has been a lack of cohesion, too many errors and we saw Tonga hold and then push the All Black scrum off the ball! New Zealand rugby fans are concerned.
The time has come for the All Blacks to put it all together for the rest of the tournament or they could be packing bags for home tomorrow night.I expect they will win comfortably, out lasting the French in the second half.
Last Five Encounters
09.11.2013 New Zealand 26-19 in Paris
22.06.2013 New Zealand 24-9 in New Plymouth
15.06.2013 New Zealand 30-0 in Christchurch
08.06.2013 New Zealand 23-13 in Auckland
23.10.2011 New Zealand 8-7 in Auckland (World Cup, Final)
France last defeated New Zealand in 2009, the first test in Dunedin.
Previous World Cups
23.10.2011 New Zealand 8-7 in Auckland (Final)
24.09.2011 New Zealand 37-17 in Auckland (Pool A)
06.10.2007 France 20-18 in Cardiff (Quarter final)
31.10.1999 France 43-31 in Twickenham (Semi Final)
20.06.1987 New Zealand 29-9 (Final)
There is a wonderful history between these two teams at World Cups. Start with the final of the first tournament in 1987, the French comeback in 1999, France’s quarter final win in 2007 and that 1 point win to New Zealand in 2011.
France last Five P 5, W 4, L 1
11.10.2015 v Ireland L 9-24 in Cardiff (World Cup, Pool D)
01.10.2015 v Canada W 41-18 in Milton Keynes (World Cup, Pool D)
23.09.2015 v Romania W 38-11 in London (World Cup, Pool D)
19.09.2015 v Italy W 32-10 at Twickenham (World Cup, Pool D)
05.09.2015 v Scotland W 19-15 in Paris (World Cup warm Up)
New Zealand Last Five P 5, W 5
09.10.2015 v Tonga W 47-9 in Newcastle (World Cup, Pool C)
02.10.2015 v Georgia W 43-10 in Cardiff (World Cup, Pool C)
24.09.2015 v Namibia W 58-14 in London (World Cup, Pool C)
20.09.2015 v Argentina W 26-16 in London (World Cup, Pool C)
15.08.2015 v Australia W 41-13 in Auckland (Bledisloe Cup)
World Table: France 5th, New Zealand 6th
World Rugby Ranking Points
New Zealand 92.89, France 79.77
Prediction: Not this time! New Zealand comfortably, by 19. Score 33-14
15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Alexandre Dumoulin, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (Capt.), 5 Yoann Maestri,
4 Pascal Papé, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Nicolas Mas, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud
Head Coach: Bernard Saint-André
15 Benjamin Smith, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (Capt.), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick,
3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Joseph Moody, 18 Charles Faumuina, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Samuel Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Sonny Bill Williams.
Head Coach: Steve Hansen