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‘Wasn’t a shock’: Former Wallaby on Italy’s chances against All Blacks

By Finn Morton
The players of New Zealand form a huddle at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Pool A match between France and New Zealand at Stade de France on September 08, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

At about 11 pm on the 8th of August, thousands of French fans burst into a frenzy as the full-time siren sounded at Stade de France. Les Bleus had just beaten the All Blacks.


After years of buildup and anticipation, the highly anticipated opening test at the Rugby World Cup had quickly come and gone.

There could be one winner and France were far too good on the night as they ran away with a 27-13 victory. It was a result that had the rugby world talking for days, if not weeks.

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That was the All Blacks’ first-ever loss at a Rugby World Cup, and it left them in unfamiliar territory. The three-time champions would likely bow out of the tournament if they were beaten again.

Fans continued to murmur about New Zealand’s loss to a “very good” French side ahead of the All Blacks’ test with Namibia, and the same can be said about their upcoming clash with Italy.

With so much riding on this test, former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles has weighed in on the Azzurri’s chances of beating the All Blacks.

“They had a loss to a very good, in-form French side in their round one game,” Hoiles said on Stan Sport.


“That wasn’t a shock loss. I know the All Blacks would have wanted and expected to win because that’s their mentality but a lot of people did tip the French.

“I read a good article this week or a good media conference where they said it wasn’t a break, it was just a chance to train a little bit differently and freshen up for the backend of this pool tournament.

“I’m expecting them to come out, and Italy have been good. Italy have had some good rugby in them and it’s a very important game in the grand scheme of the ladder but I think the All Blacks will get it done.”


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