The Black Ferns have suffered a shock loss to France in their Super Series clash in San Diego this morning.
For just the second time, France managed to claim victory over the Ferns, triumphing 25-16 despite having three players sent to the sinbin.
In one of their sloppiest showings, the Black Ferns couldn’t produce a similar performance to the ones that had seen them claim victories over Canada (35-20) and the USA (33-0), being well beaten by the World No 3 side.
France are clearly a team on the rise, and despite having lost 36-19 to Canada earlier in the tournament, showed why they had toppled the Black Ferns 30-27 last year.
France had made eight changes after their defeat to Canada, and raced out to a 15-0 lead after just 17 minutes thanks to some nifty footwork from Caroline Boujard and some sloppy defence from the Black Ferns, as well as a bit of luck – dotting down after a penalty attempt hit the posts, with Maelle Filopon quickest to react.
A remarkable refereeing decision was to follow, with the TMO correctly overruling a yellow card decision against the French in a rare sinbin reversal, as France held an 18-6 lead at the break.
A superb counter-attacking try finished by Jessy Tremouliere, after Cocksedge failed to find touch with a penalty, made it 25-9, and although a rash of yellow cards saw France finish with 13 women, the only way the Black Ferns could score was through a penalty try, and that merely reduced the deficit to a non-historic margin.
The Black Ferns next have a bye in the Super Series, before they finish the competition against England next Monday.
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