France full-back Thomas Ramos kicked 17 points as the hosts overcame New Zealand in a riveting opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup at the Stade de France.
The All Blacks scored inside the opening two minutes when Mark Telea touched down Beauden Barrett’s precise cross-kick, but three Ramos penalties helped Les Bleus into a 9-8 half-time lead.
Telea’s second try, from Richie Mo’unga’s floated pass, put New Zealand back in front but after Damian Penaud was denied a try by Mo’unga’s tackle, France seized the momentum.
Penaud took Matthieu Jalibert’s pass to score his 30th test try and after a yellow card for All Blacks wing Will Jordan, two more Ramos penalties and a late Melvyn Jaminet try kicked off a party in Paris. [Additional reporting by World Rugby]
France now lead Group A with four points.
Action resumes on Saturday with Italy taking on Namibia, Italy playing Romania, Australia facing Georgia before England play Argentina in the last game of the day.