As it happened: All Blacks' superb first 40 minutes marred by sloppy second half in comfortable win over France

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of this morning's international Test match between the All Blacks and France from Stade de France in Paris, France.

FT: FRA 18-38 NZL

Same story. Brilliant first half, tough second half. They came away with the win but there's still work to be done on theat second half performances after scoring their only points of the half in the final minute. That'll do it for us. Stay tuned for all the post match action!

80min: FRA 18-38 NZL

NZL TRY! As easy as you like! Naholo cruises in for his second to wrap the game up. The All Blacks pound the line with pick and gos on the left side of the the field before Perenara sends it wide. The ABs have numbers and its an easy finish for Naholo. Barrett slots the extras and that'll wrap it up!

78min: FRA 18-31 NZL

Perenara kicks into the French 22m and he keeps it in play. It's a brilliant kick and it'll pin the French down. The defence is relentless and it forces a clearance kick. ABs lineout on the French 22m to come. They're playing for pride here and looking to score their first points of second half in these final 2 minutes.

76min: FRA 18-31 NZL

France gets a penalty for offside and they opt for the scrum. It's just 8m out in the middle of the field. The scrum goes down and it's a massive shove from the ABs and they get a penalty! Superb shove and that will likely wrap this one up. ABs clear and they'll get a lineout on their 10m line.

74min: FRA 18-31 NZL

France rumble inside the ABs' 22 and they earn a penalty as Crockett plays the ball at the ruck off his feet. They can only choose the lineout and they do. It'll be on the 5m. Can the ABs hold on?

73min: FRA 18-31 NZL

And the pressure is diffused as France knocks it on off the lineout. ABs scrum coming up inside their 22m. They'll aim for a stable scrum and clearance here. The scrum earns a free kick instead so Barrett takes it and thumps it into touch. French lineout on ABs 10m coming up.

71min: FRA 18-31 NZL

France with a big chance to score as their scrum earns another penalty. The ensuing punt goes inside the ABs 22m. Big phase coming up for both sides here.

69min: FRA 18-31 NZL

Captains are called in after a little scuffle breaks out. They're told by the ref to calm their teams. When play kicks off again it'll be a lineout on halfway for France following a clearance by the ABs. France's superb second half comeback is running out of time.

67min: FRA 18-31 NZL

The All Blacks initially earn a penalty but it's reversed after the ref spots fould play from Tu'ungafasi after the whistle. It's not a cardable offence but it's a late hit on a Frenchman on the ground. France goes for touch, they look to attack on the ABs 10m but knock it on early! ABs get a scrum coming up for the error.

64min: FRA 18-31 NZL

The game is getting a bit sloppy now. Wet conditions, subs coming into the game and it's making things a bit stagnant. The French have a lineout coming up on halfway but their attacking flair of 10min ago is missing.

60min: FRA 18-31 NZL

Naholo's defence shines again! ABs survive eight phases and Naholo's tackle gets them a penalty! Bastareaud hits the line hard on the left wing and he's wrapped up by the ABs winger. The French centre doesn't release and it's a penalty for the ABs. They clear for a lineout on their 10m. Pressure diverted for now.

58min: FRA 18-31 NZL

France has a scrum 5m out after the ABs overthrow the lineout ball and France get the counterattack. The defence holds out but its penalised for being offside. France with their tails up aren't looking for three - they want five. Can the ABs hold on now SBW is back?

57min: FRA 18-31 NZL

FRA NO TRY! The All Blacks have escaped giving up another try as a desperate ankle tap from McKenzie sees Thomas' foot go into touch before he can score in the corner. France went wide off the the lineout and it led to Thomas streaking down the right sideline. Very lucky to survive there. ABs lineout 5m out from their own line.

55min: FRA 18-31 NZL

The ABs' messy start gets worse as they knock the ball on again. Read has gone off so Barrett has taken over the captaincy. France has earned a penalty as the NZ scrum collapses so they get a lineout on the NZ 10m. SBW with 1 min left in the bin.

53min: FRA 18-31 NZL

FRA THREE! France continue to climb back into this contest as they earn a penalty and opt for another easy three from out front 22m out. All Blacks need something to change the momentum here.

50min: FRA 15-31 NZL

ABs look like they're feeling the pressure. It's a 22m dropout after France kick the ball too deep but Barrett overcooks it and it goes out on the full. French get a scrum on the ABs 22m as a result.

47min: FRA 15-31 NZL

NZL YELLOW! SBW heads to the bin for a little brain explosion. France try a crosskick that floats into the in-goal and SBW goes high for it but taps it dead which isn't allowed in rugby union! So the Ref calls him in and sends him off. Now they go upstairs to the ref and after replays they decide it's a PENALTY TRY FOR FRANCE! Strange call as SBW was definitely all over the ball and the French winger had no chance of beating him too it. Can't change it now. France are back and owning this second half.

44min: FRA 8-31 NZL

Slimani is back on the pitch as France takes a lineout on halfway after a clearing kick from the ABs.

42min: FRA 8-31 NZL

FRA THREE! Perfect start for France who get the first points of the half off a penalty. All Blacks looked for territory but the French took a quick lineout and counter attacked well. They roar into the ABs half and get a penalty at the breakdown. With 14 on the pitch, they opt for three and get them.

40min: FRA 5-31 NZL

We're back underway in a wet Paris!

HT: FRA 5-31 NZL

Brilliant first half from the ABs but rain is really starting to bucket down now which could affect their flair in the second half. Standout performances from Crotty, McKenzie and Ioane so far. All three have run superbly in this first half and causing the French a lot of issues. Tough break for Coles and Romano who look to be done for the night. French need to brace for the first 5min of the half to with Slimani still in the bin.

40min: FRA 5-31 NZL

NZL TRY! And No.2001 is even better! All Blacks counter attack perfectly as they pounce on a knocked-on ball off Smith's up-and-under. They swing it to the left and it gets to McKenzie who once again finds Ioane in space. Ioane surges down the left sideline and when the French catch up, flicks it back to McKenzie. McKenzie is wrapped up 10m out so he flicks to Cane and Cane dives in in the left corner! Barrett comes up with another pearler from the sideline. What a finish to the half!

38min: FRA 5-24 NZL

NZL TRY! The All Blacks bring up their 2000th Test Try and what a way to do it! They pick and go a couple times to draw France in before Smith sends wide to the left. It gets to SBW and he grubbers it through for Crotty to touch down! Classy try right before the half and it's near the posts again for an easy two from Barrett.

36min: FRA 5-17 NZL

FRA YELLOW! Slimani is in the bin! Hames dominates the scrum and the French tighthead collapses again. The ref has had enough and he sends him to the bin. All Blacks get the penalty and opt for touch. ABs lineout on the right sideline, 5m from the chalk. Can they convert again before halftime?

34min: FRA 5-17 NZL

All Blacks attack up the middle once more as Crotty makes good metres again. They go right and the final pass can't quite stick as Naholo juggles it. It'll come back for a scrum just inside the French 22, right next to touch.

33min: FRA 5-17 NZL

What a chaotic minute of footy. Ball knocked left, right and centre as a bit of rain settles in here. McKenzie finally looks to settle things and the gets an offload off to Read he goes to ground. But the French secure it and try to go wide, they kick and it's a shocker. They recover but Ioane puts in a big tackle and it's another knock on! No advantage so we come back for a NZ scrum on the French 10m near the left sideline. 

30min: FRA 5-17 NZL

Scott Barrett enters the game as Romano heads to the blood bin - it looks like a new injury from the friendly-fire he copped last week.

28min: FRA 5-17 NZL

FRA TRY! France strike back as they work the ball down the line off the lineout. There's an offload in midfield from Bastareaud and that's what gives the French numbers. They cycle it down to the right wing and McKenzie can't get across in time. No conversion.

26min: FRA 0-17 NZL

France get their first real attacking chance in 20 or so minutes as the All Blacks are penalised for offside. France could go for three but they know the score and go for touch. French line out coming up 22m out.

24min: FRA 0-17 NZL

NZL TRY! Another scrum coming as the ABs earn a penalty with the French collapsing. It's ANOTHER penalty as France collapses it again! All Blacks take the scrum again. They get it away this time. Ioane hits the defence hard and he goes within inches of scoring near the posts. Smith flings it to Barrett he then lofts a beautiful 10m skip pass to an unmarked Naholo on the wing and he touches down in the right corner. Coles is off as that niggle looks to have stayed with him unfortunately. Barrett slots the extra two down the middle.

20min: FRA 0-10 NZL

NZL NO TRY! All Blacks continue to pressure France and it's a kick through into the 22m that does it. It bounces before France finally retain it. Ioane comes in with a big tackle and forces him to within inches of his tryline. All Blacks fly in with a counter ruck and Read dives through on the ball to try and put it down as it's rolled inside the try-zone! Ref goes upstairs to check it but it shows a French hand getting there first. ABs therefore get a scrum on the 5m line again, 15m from the left sideline.

18min: FRA 0-10 NZL

Cracks beginning to show from France as they overcook the restarting kickoff. All Blacks opt for the scrum on halfway in the middle of the field - plenty of attacking options here.

17min: FRA 0-10 NZL

NZL THREE! All Blacks earn another penalty as they attack on the left wing again. They go down the backline off the top of the lineout and pound the French defence for five phases before the French illegally go for the ball just 5m from their line. All Blacks opt to play it safe and earn an easy three points - Barrett nails it.

14min: FRA 0-7 NZL

Naholo earns a penalty for the ABs with a brilliant defensive effort. France tries to go wide but Naholo is there and shuts it down straight away. The ABs storm into the ruck and get the penalty. Coles is down in the backfield with what looks like a knee niggle but he's up and going 2min later. Barrett thumps the penalty into touch and the ABs get a scrum 15m from the the French line.

12min: FRA 0-7 NZL

The All Blacks go metres within scoring again as they spring a counter attack on a dropped ball on halfway. McKenzie gets the ball to Ioane in space and he streaks down the left sideline but he's wrapped up short and the ball comes loose in the process. France clears to relieve pressure and the All Blacks get a scrum on the French 10m.

10min: FRA 0-7 NZL

NZL TRY! TOO EASY! All Blacks pick and go a few times off the scrum before swinging the ball back to the right to Barrett. He draws in the defence and gets a lovely little pass off to Coles he hits the hole with ease from 2-3m out nad he's in untouched near the post. Barrett takes the easy two.

8min: FRA 0-0 NZL

NZL NO TRY! Brilliant build up from NZ on attack and it's Crotty and SBW combining in the middle with offloads that opens it up! The All Blacks storm into the French 22m and are held up just 5m short. They go left and it gets to SBW, he storms over the line but he's held up! NZ scrum in the middle of the pitch on the 5m to come - can the ABs convert on their first big chance?

5min: FRA 0-0 NZL

The French fail to perform on their first big chance as the ABs contest the lineout and force the error from France. Ball goes to ground an Laulala dives on it. French are penalised for using their hands to try and get it back. Pressure diluted. Lineout on halfway for NZ coming up. 

4min: FRA 0-0 NZL

France gets a penalty! Kane Hames buckles in the scrum and he's pinged for collapsing. Now France with brilliant terrtiory as they kick for touch and get a lineout 10m from NZ's line.

3min: FRA 0-0 NZL

France wins the lineout but the ensuing maul is a shambles and it becomes unplayable. NZ earns a scrum on halfway near the left sideline. They set the scrum down but it's a free kick to France as the All Blacks fail to make a gap. French opt for a scurm of their own now, same spot.

0min: FRA 0-0 NZL

Barrett kicks things off, deep to left. Ioane chases and it looks like an early turnover for the ABs! But the ref steps in and says Romano illegally turned the ball over so France with a penalty and avoid a disasterous start. They get a lineout on halfway for their troubles.


The teams are on the pitch on a clear night in Paris. There's been plenty of rain over the past 48 hours but we should be fine for 80 minutes here. The All Blacks are in their away kits once again as the French don their dark-blue tops at home. As reported earlier this week though, they have the RSA poppy on their sleeves to signifiy Armistice Day.

The French anthem plays and this crowd is right in on it. If the young French side wants to suprise many punters this morning they will need this crowd right behind them.

France advance to the halfway line on the haka as the All Blacks deliver another brilliant rendition of Kapa o Pango. We're minutes away from kickoff!

The All Blacks coach isn't taking anything for granted against an inexperienced France.
The All Blacks perform the haka to France prior to their match in 2016. Source: Photosport


All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has tapped into the French rugby psyche and he doesn't like what he sees on the eve of their tour-opening Test in Paris.

The old cliche of unpredictable France has genuine merit, Hansen says, believing Les Bleus have an ability to play above themselves that no international team can match.

The key is whether the hosts have found a cause to unite them on Saturday, as has been the case in famous wins over the All Blacks.

Those sort of upsets are becoming less frequent in the stone-cold professional age.

"They definitely need big emotional value in whatever they're doing," Hansen said.

"They're a side, more so than anyone else, when they decide to get up against whoever they're playing, they've got the talent and the ability to make you look silly.

"They've created some heartache along the way."

The current All Blacks are on their longest winning streak against France since a 2009 boilover in Dunedin.

Throwing uncertainty over this week's encounter is the naming of a raw French side that features six new caps and two young halves who are both making their first Test start.

Hansen believes such a selection could go either way.

Because it's France, he won't take anything for granted.

"Their squad's pretty talented, I know that," he said.

"That's the French way of life. It's cool when it's cool and, 'oh well c'est la vie', when it's not.

"You'd be frustrated if you're one of their fans because you start to build a dream and then wham, where did that go?"

One possible French focus could be the game being played on the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day.

New Zealand have lost twice to France on that date, in 1977 and 1995, in Toulouse on both occasions.

France also lifted for a famous win at Eden Park on Bastille Day in 1979.

To mark the occasion on Saturday, the All Blacks will wear the RSA poppy on their sleeve and the Dave Gallaher Trophy will be on the line.

Gallaher, the captain of the Original All Blacks, was killed during the Battle of Passchendaele during World War I.


FRA: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Mathieu Bastareaud, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot

FRA subs: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Damian Penaud

NZL: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Vaea Fifita, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames

NZL subs: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown


'I will be joining an elite Test team' - John Mitchell confirmed as new England defence coach

Former New Zealand head coach John Mitchell will be joining Eddie Jones' staff as England's defence coach until the end of next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Mitchell will leave his role of Executive of Rugby for South African Super Rugby side the Bulls and join up with former Wallabies boss Jones this month to help prepare for their upcoming run of internationals, including a clash against Australia on November 24 at Twickenham.

The 54-year-old replaces Paul Gustard, who took over as head coach of English premiership side Harlequins this season.

"This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach," Mitchell said.

"I will be joining an elite high-performance programme, test team and coaching group where I will use all my experience and focus to bring the necessary clarity and confidence to the players from a defensive perspective."

England's defence has come under intense scrutiny after a poor run of form in 2018 that has included five defeats in eight internationals.

Three of those losses came in the Six Nations as the defending champions finished a dismal fifth, and criticism has mounted in the wake of their 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

The hope is that Mitchell's experience will aid an upturn in form. The New Zealander previously served as forwards coach to Clive Woodward when the latter was in charge of England between 1997 and 2000.

As head coach of the All Blacks, he won 23 of 28 tests and led the team to a third-place finish at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and consecutive Tri-Nations titles.

"Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach," said Australian Jones.

"He's coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here."


'It's a great opportunity' - Canterbury law student dabbles in new NZ Rugby initiative, Ignite Sevens

Canterbury sevens player Grace Steinmetz only played the game last year in December and is now having a crack at making the national women’s team.

New Zealand Rugby has started a new initiative Ignite 7 which sees 48 female and 48 male athletes take part in a four day event on November 21.

Players will go through a field of testing before playing in a televised one day tournament to earmark new talent.

"Hadn't played rugby or sevens before, so come from a touch and hockey background," said Steinmetz.

The 20-year-old law student hopes to one day wear the Black Ferns women jumper as she tries out her hand in the Ignite 7 tournament.

"It is something I would love to do one day, I think it's a great opportunity for sevens now girls, it's professional and it can be your job now," she said.

"I don't have to worry about my law degree, like I can just go and train and be a professional athlete which is definitely a goal of mine."

Coming from a touch and hockey background Grace Steinmetz admits she is still getting used to contact. Source: 1 NEWS



Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup tickets to go on sale, All Blacks fans urged to get in quick

All Blacks fans are urged to get in quick if they are to secure seats at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with officials warning tickets will sell out fast one year out from the tournament.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. New Zealand All Blacks v Australia Wallabies, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Saturday 31 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga /
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. Source: Photosport

Half a million tickets have already been pre-sold with tickets set to be open for sale to the public at 1pm today (NZ time).

Head of the Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin believes there will be an "unprecedented demand" for tickets which involves the home team, Japan's Brave Blossoms and the top tier nations.

"All the matches involving Japan, definitely all the matches involving New Zealand... England, Australia are experiencing high demand and we would expect they will be sold out very quickly," said Gilpin.

The All Blacks begin their title defence against the Springboks in Yokohama, the evening after the tournament opener between Japan and Russia in Tokyo on September 20, 2019.

Adult ticket prices are expected to range from ¥10,000 - ¥40,000 (NZD $136-$544) while tickets to the final on November 2 to cost anywhere between ¥25,000 - ¥100,000 (NZD $340-$1361).

"When you bring Rugby World Cup to a place like Japan, you hope that people will get behind it and the demand will be there – and it really has been," said Gilpin.

"It's a fantastic story for the event and a good message of confidence for the organising committee."

Most read: Meet the Kiwi farmer who went from being a Black Fern to becoming the first female to ref a men's first-class game

This story was first published on Tuesday September 18

Rebecca Mahoney says the milestone isn’t about gender – it’s about hard work and a bit of training. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

Former Black Fern Rebecca Mahoney may have made history when she became the first woman to referee a men’s first-class rugby match last weekend, but she’s shaking off the milestone.

"It's not about who you are or where you're from or what your gender is, it's just hard work and a bit of training."

The 35-year-old has been around rugby most of her life, having won two World Cups before trading in her No.10 jersey for the whistle.

That experience came in handy on Saturday in Te Aroha when she officiated her first Mitre 10 Heartland Championship game between King Country and Thames Valley.

"To see women ref out there, there's no problems," Thames Valley captain Alex Bradley said after the game.

"They take control - probably better than some of the men."

But it’s not just her experience from the game that helps her.

Mahoney says farm life in Eketahuna plays an important role too.

"I'm extremely challenged to hit a standard that most of the boys can hit quite easily, and that's not going to change - genetics aren’t going to change that," she said.

"It’s just a lot of hard work that's going to have to go into it."

History shows the rural lifestyle has gone hand in hand with rugby's greatest figures – take Sir Colin Meads as a prime example.

Women have officiated men in Tests between developing nations but nothing close to the intensity of first-class New Zealand domestic rugby.

While Mahoney doesn’t think she’ll ever officiate the All Blacks, she’s happy knowing the path is a little bit closer.