The Breakdown | Autumn international awards: Steward stands out as France flourish

Champagne moments from dramatic run of autumn internationals … and the Rassie Erasmus water-carrier award

The 2021 autumn international series has been eventful, with northern hemisphere nations enjoying some striking successes over their increasingly weary southern counterparts. Here is The Breakdown’s definitive end-of-year report…

Best game France’s 40-25 thrashing of New Zealand in Paris offered a tantalising glimpse of what might lie ahead in the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It was the first time the All Blacks have conceded 40 points to anyone since Ireland beat them in Chicago in 2016 and the 24-6 half-time deficit was the widest New Zealand have ever known.

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France stand firm to seal first victory over New Zealand for 12 years

  • France 40-25 New Zealand
  • First win in 15 attempts for France against All Blacks

France held off a second-half fightback from New Zealand to claim a 40-25 victory in Paris and end a 14-match losing streak against the All Blacks.

New Zealand, who made seven changes as they looked for an immediate response to last weekend’s 29-20 loss to Ireland, trailed 24-6 at half-time as a rampant home side took complete control at the Stade de France.

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