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Aisle Be Back: Paris

Club Rugby | 30 November 2016 | Kevin McCarthy

Aisle Be Back: Paris

What went through your head on Sunday as the All Blacks staggered across the line in Paris?

I decided I'd live blog my internal ramblings as game went on. Not always coherent, but here we go.

PRE-GAME

That strip. Well, let's see if it wins or not. Pretty much all that counts.

Oh no, no singer for the anthems. Cunning, as the boys mumble through what may be God Defend, or something by Adele, it's hard to tell. Thought  that counts though.

No such confusion  with La Marsellaise. Check out the lyrics if you never have. Very high body count.

Now which haka? Ka Mate, except TJ seems to be pausing for e-ff-e----c---t. Nice  job though. So is Kapa A Pango on the way out?

The ref - is that Barnesy. Good vibrations.

KICKOFF

Allez les bleu. France with intent and finding a hole or two. Wonder what the intensity is going to be.

This looks like being fun. And a bit of biff. No worries says "Digger" Barnes.

Turning down 3. Still don't like that when it's nil-nil, and lo, it generates nothing.

Oh my god - Savea needs to play France more often, that's got to be his finest moment of the year. And Izzy still has those wheels. 7-0.

Big rigs in the French pack. . Don't fancy they will be moving very fast cometh the 60 minute mark.

8-1 on missed tackle count. Doesn't feel that bad.

155kg?? Did they just say that? I KNOW THE FOOD IS GOOD BUT  . . .

And so the All Blacks have little ball, little territory, and lead 10-nil after less than 20 minutes. When is some coach going to decide its best to give us the ball and just sit back and tackle. Actually I think I'm serious.

Oh no, so they decide to bring back flair. Slick offloads, straight running, Nice to see a French side with attacking intent. That tackle count's going to be YUUUUGE.

This time they kick for goal. Simple tactic. 10-3. from a goal-kicking halfback. I miss JP.

How do you say butchered in French - or Fijian. But some great scrambling.

Love the French crowd but they need to stop booing Barnesey. * That's our job.

11 turnovers by the French so far. Who says they aren't nice to foreigners?

Approaching halftime and there's a whiff of the pededstrian creeping into the French play. Just saying, but those big boys may be tiring.

There's Dan! And Conrad!! So retro. Oops, it's 10-6 while we're on celeb watch.

HALFTIME

it's a proper test. Still, I'd put my money on black.

Must have got their puff back, them French. But how the hell do you combat Beaudy ,what a kick in the guts, 17-6.

More subs than the Russian Navy. Let's see how that goes with 45 gone.

Who's coaching this French lineout? It's like our one from a few years ago.

Faumuina's on and looks like the doppleganger for the French prop.  Could they be related?

Take the 3 again. 17-9. But is that their replacement
halfback kicking that? I still miss JP.

A Wayne Barnes second half penalty. Frame it stick it on the wall. Oh good grief, we kick for the corner. Take the 3!!

And Faumauina scores. I am so pleased to be proved right. Taking the 3 would have been stupid. 24-9.

As they might say in tne NFL, the French conversion rate in les red zone is poor. We'd be hurting if they were a wee bit better.

Spoke too soon - the beefy boys just caned us - huge scrum and Picamoles is across. 24-16 after JP junior converts. Good game this.

Into the last 10. In their 22, time to put it out of doubt. French seem to disagree, plenty of venom in those tackles.

Barnesey to the rescue. Take the 3. No, scrum it! And there you go, tryline penalty against us. No wonder the crowd's belting it out.

And now le biffo. Julian, stop tackling with your head, that's what props are for.

And now France take the 3. Surely a good call because you can't score 8 for a converted try, unless it's the NPC Heartland. 24-19, liking it tough.

Good pressure, forcing the French to kick. That should be it and it is.

Never felt we'd lose that but the French were much better than recent years.

And so we leave the City of Light, with happy memories.

Although Keiran Reid's chopper mo has to go in the off-season.

++++++

It ain't quite over. There's the England v Aussie filthy grudge match this weekend. Probably England will win, but I'm cheering on the Wallabies.

* All references to Wayne Barnes being a bad ref are purely gratuitous. Actually he's quite good, and communicates well.

RLM

Lifelong All Blacks supporter Kev has followed the Hurricanes since they began. This year his faith in them was rewarded when they won the title. 

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