France Rugby World Cup

France’s right wing Damian Penaud dives across the line to score. Photo by Franรงois-Xavier MARIT / AFP

France make Rugby World Cup history in Paris

France became the first team to hand the All Blacks defeat in a Rugby World Cup pool game as they triumphed 27-13 in Paris.

France Rugby World Cup

France’s right wing Damian Penaud dives across the line to score. Photo by Franรงois-Xavier MARIT / AFP

France made history in their opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup with a 27-13 win over the All Blacks.

With that France became the first team to hand New Zealand a defeat in a Rugby World Cup Pool Game.

All Blacks beaten again

Tries in the opening exchanges of both halves from the All Blacks Mark Telea threatened to lay a platform for another New Zealand success but the boot of Thomas Ramos would prove to be the difference.

Damien Penaud provided a quick response to Telea’s second score having been denied by a brilliant tackle from Richie Mo’unga earlier in the piece.

A yellow card for Will Jordan killed the All Blacks attempts to get back into the game and Ramos moved France into the driving seat as the penalty count mounted.

A try for substitute Melvyn Jaminet put the cherry on top of a fine performance by the hosts.

France
France’s full-back Thomas Ramos kicks the ball during the France 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between France and New Zealand at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris on September 8, 2023. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

Other records France could break at the Rugby World Cup

France could become just the third country to win the World Cup as the host of the tournament (joining New Zealand who did so twice – 1987 & 2011, and South Africa who won during their 1995 hosting duties).

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On the other hand, France could also become just the second sole host country to be eliminated in the pool stage after England were knocked out in 2015, and the third country ever if also counting Wales, who got eliminated in the pool stage in 1991 as co-hosts.

If eliminated before the quarter-finals, France would break their 35-year-long streak of advancing to at least the quarter-finals in every Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987 (shared with Australia and New Zealand).

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If France win the World Cup, it would finally get rid of their record of being the only country to have appeared in the final of the World Cup without ever winning one (they made it to the final in 1987, 1999 and 2011, but they lost to New Zealand, Australia and New Zealand again, respectively); as of now, France is the only non-English speaking country to have made it to a final.

France could break their tie with England for the most silver medals at the RWC if they end up in second place – they placed second in 1987, 1999 and 2011.

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If France win the RWC, they would join Australia and New Zealand as the only countries to have won all three medals (gold, silver & bronze).