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'I think it's going to pose opportunities for us to be at our best'

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by PA Images)

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The rugby world are treated to one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of 2021 this weekend as France host the All Blacks in a precursor to their 2023 World Cup pool stage meeting.

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The hype surrounding this match may have been dampened slightly after the All Blacks’ loss to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday, and subsequent demotion to number two in the world rankings, but they are the 2021 Rugby Championship winners nevertheless.

France have beaten Argentina and Georgia in their Autumn Nations Series, but their biggest match of the year still awaits.

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Can the All Blacks bounce back against France after being ruthlessly beaten by Ireland? | Aotearoa Rugby Pod
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Can the All Blacks bounce back against France after being ruthlessly beaten by Ireland? | Aotearoa Rugby Pod

When, where and how to watch the match
The match will kick-off at 20:00 (UK) on Saturday November 20th (09:00 on Sunday 21st November in New Zealand) at the Stade de France and will be broadcast live on Amazon Prime.

Head-to-head
France boast the most wins over the All Blacks from any Northern Hemisphere side, although their overall record is not impressive. Les Bleus have twelve wins compared to New Zealand’s 48, with one draw between the two sides. The All Blacks have also not lost to France in over a decade, and have a 14-match winning streak of their hosts on Saturday.

Match odds from bet365
bet365  have the handicap on France at +5, with 20/23 odds that the All Blacks win both halves. There are also 7/2 odds that the visitors win with a margin between 1-5 points.

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Prediction
Bryn Hall and James Parsons both backed the All Blacks to bounce back on the Aotearoa Rugby Pod this week, and expect Ian Foster’s side to pick up their speed of play.

“I’m going to go with the All Blacks,” Hall said. “I expect their breakdown and the efficiency, and whether Aaron Smith comes back in for that quick ball, if he does come back, it wouldn’t even hurt who is at halfback, I reckon we’re going to get a little bit more quick ball and ask a lot more questions on the attack side of the ball.

“[France] like to stay connected and really work together as a line across,” Parsons added. “So I think it’s going to pose opportunities for us to be at our best because if we are given that time and space, we know what we can do.”

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*Odds accurate as of 17/11/21.

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