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France player ratings vs New Zealand | Autumn Nations Series

By Ian Cameron
Damian Penaud (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

France player ratings: It was billed as the biggest game of the Autumn Nations Series from a neutral’s perspective and it didn’t fail to deliver.

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It’s the first time the All Blacks have lost in Paris since 1973 and the first time they’ve lost to France in nine years.

FRANCE PLAYER RATINGS:

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Guess the Olympic Gold medal hero | Sam Quek | England Rugby
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Guess the Olympic Gold medal hero | Sam Quek | England Rugby

15. MELVYN JAMINET – 8
Danced his way up the pitch on occasion, a second-half breakout will have had viewers on the edge of their seats, as did a late charge for the line that was thwarted. A smart, conscientious sweeper.

14. DAMIAN PENAUD – 7.5
Showed his remarkable attacking prowess, slicing through the All Blacks defence in the lead-up to the Ntamack try. Hid defence is a major work on though, falling off tackles and getting brushed aside by Jordie Barrett in the second half… but he’s so good on the ball.

13. GAEL FICKOU – 8.5
It’s hard to believe Fickou is just 27-years-old, having been a feature of French rugby – both domestic and international – for so long. Now the elder statesman of the French backline, it’s his decision-making that stands out. Composed, powerful and skillful here.

12. JONATHAN DANTY – 8
Exploded through contact like a heavyweight boxer battering an outmatched opponent, evoking memories of a young Mathieu Bastareaud. Ran out of steam a tad in the secondhalf, which is completely forgivable in the circumstances.

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11. GABIN VILLIÈRE – 7
He took up the game late and was written off at the start of his career, but Villiere was clearly born to play the game. Turning his back on Rieko Ioane was a cardinal sin – a particularly naive bit of defending.

10. ROMAIN NTAMACK – 8
How can you not scream in delight when Ntamack stepped his way across the whitewash for France’s second try. Outplayed Mo’unga before he was taken off.

9. ANTOINE DUPONT – 9
The best scrumhalf in the world brought it, both in defence and attack. Maybe at times he takes too much on, or rather France rely too heavily on him. Some of his long ball passing was a little agricultural – but that’s reaching for criticism. C’est bon.

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8. GREGORY ALLDRITT – 8
The young captain was heavily involved in the first half onslaught and the ever-present cuts and bruises on his face at 80 minutes told their own story.

7. FRANCOIS CROS – 7.5
A good example of the latter-day prototype French backrow. Tall, athletic and hard-hitting. A brick wall in defence and has a big diesel engine on him.

6. ANTHONY JELONCH – 7.5
Another teak-tough Frenchman who didn’t give an inch. Like Cros, tireless.

5. PAUL WILLEMSE – 7.5
No longer tipping the scales at 21 stone, the athleticism of this slimmed-down giant continues to impress. Got through a lot of work but tied in the second half.

4. CAMERON WOKI – 8
Although no debutant Woki has brought a different look to France pack this season and is at home in Fabien Galthie’s engine room despite his rangy frame. A strong set-piece shift and a handful in the loose. Should he have given that 63rd-minute ball? Maybe.

3. UINI ANTONIO – 7.5
Boy was the giant tighthead fired up for this one – playing the country of your birth will do that in rugby. Emptied himself on the pitch.

2. PEATO MAUVAKA – 8.5
Another player having a breakthrough season for Les Bleus, the All Blacks struggled to contain him in close quarters. Five tries in four games in the Autumn – Mr Mauvaka has officially arrived, even if a couple of gaffs here took the shine off a fine performance.

1. CYRIL BAILLE – 7.5
Plenty of pick and jams from the loosehead, who held up his side of the bargain in the scrum.

REPLACEMENTS:
Demba Bamba and Thibaud Flament caught the eye and Maxime Lucu made a number of decent contributions.

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