How the world media responded to the All Blacks first ever Rugby World Cup pool play loss to France at Stade de France this morning.
France launch World Cup campaign with statement win
Gavin Mairs, The Telegraph
“These two sides have served up some of the most epic World Cup encounters over the years, but France’s stunning victory, founded on relentless second-half display, must surely register as the most emotionally-charged of them all,” wrote Gavin Mairs.
”Sixteen years ago at this venue France crashed to a humbling defeat in the World Cup opener, going down to Argentina in a result that sent shockwaves throughout the tournament.“
”This time it is Les Bleus who had laid down a seismic marker, overwhelming New Zealand and giving the French public the ferocious and uplifting first chapter in a tournament that promises to be the best of the lot.”
Penaud inspires France to winning start at Rugby World Cup against All Blacks
Robert Kitson, The Guardian
France will be relieved to claim the initial spoils but, despite the scoreline, will know they can perform appreciably better,” wrote Robert Kitson of the Guardian.
”This is going to be the most competitive World Cup of them all and here was early confirmation. While France emerged triumphant through second-half tries from Damian Penaud and the replacement Melvyn Jaminet plus the prolific boot of Thomas Ramos, it took a long time for them to break down a spirited All Black side.“
”With temperatures close to 30 degrees throughout and Will Jordan being sent to the sin-bin at a crucial moment for a misjudged aerial challenge, it was never going to be a comfortable night for the visiting side.”
Can New Zealand do a France?
Andrew Mehrtens, BBC Radio 5 Live
We have seen teams do it before and reach the final having lost, with England in 2007 and France came within a whisker of winning it in 2011 when they lost two pool games.
Of course New Zealanders are going to take any possible consolation out of it but they wont be happy with their second half, so they will look at that performance.
Look out world: below-par France far too strong for All Blacks
Alex Lowe, The Times
“France eventually turned on the style on a sultry night in Paris to open their home tournament with a victory over New Zealand.
It was not a classic French performance and there is much more to come from Les Bleus, which is a warning for the rest of the tournament because the All Blacks were never in the game in the second half,” wrote Alex Lowe of the Times.”
This was a reality check for the All Blacks, whose aura has gone. France won without Dupont having to shine, which is a statement in itself from the hosts on the opening night of their big event.”
Barnes lends support to injured Sam Cane
English commentator Stuart Barnes firmly behind the injured All Blacks captain with this post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Losing start! All Blacks go down in World Cup opener
Liam Napier, NZ Herald
Advantage France. On a steamy, sweltering World Cup opening Parisian night, Stade de France roared and rocked with 80,000 often on their feet, in full voice throughout, as France laid down a psychological marker to inflict the first group stage defeat on the All Blacks.
Set against the backdrop of their worst defeat in history against the Springboks at Twickenham, and a series of injury setbacks that included captain Sam Cane withdrawing pre-match, the All Blacks went toe-to-toe with one of the World Cup favourites. Ian Foster’s men faded in the second half, suffering their first World Cup pool defeat in 32 matches.
The biggest concern from the All Blacks defeat
Gregor Paul, NZ Herald
The All Blacks have opened their World Cup campaign with a statement performance of sorts, one that has placed them firmly in the category of long shot with an impossible amount to fix-up if they are to still be in France in late October.
What the All Blacks have done is shown the world they are stunningly mentally frail.
A brilliant occasion, which was brilliantly refereed, saw a brilliant French team systematically tear the All Blacks apart, in a performance that must have them already installed as favourites to win their own tournament.
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