All Blacks on top France lose half-time lead

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby Union - Kate Rowan

It may have been an un­capped match be­tween their re­serves, but France and New Zealand’s en­counter in Lyon last night had all the in­ten­sity of a Test. New Zealand won 28-23 de­spite two tries from French debu­tant wing Gabriel La Croix.

La Croix’s tries helped France lead 15-14 at the break, but the vis­i­tors were then at their clin­i­cal best, with Patrick Tuip­u­lotu and Ngani Laumape scor­ing in quick suc­ces­sion. France fought hard but the All Blacks showed com­po­sure to hang on in the dy­ing mo­ments. ses­sion at Welford Road in order to do some ex­tra kick­ing prac­tice. May drove him­self the first time.

“Jonny tapped ‘Welford Road’ into his Satnav but didn’t re­alise that Welford Road ac­tu­ally runs for miles and miles (es­sen­tially a 30-mile route link­ing Le­ices­ter and Northamp­ton along the A5199) so he ended up on the other side of Le­ices­ter, late for the team run and meet­ing,” said Ford. “He thought Welford Road was just a sta­dium. I have to pick him up ev­ery time now. “My job has be­come Jonny May’s coun­sel­lor and carer. I don’t think Jonny knows what he’s do­ing half the time but you can’t take that away from him be­cause that makes him the player he is.”

Prac­tice makes per­fect: Ge­orge Ford is al­ways metic­u­lous in his prepa­ra­tion

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