Rugby Union: Famous win for Sella to celebrate

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The Independent Online
New Zealand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

France. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

PHILIPPE SELLA celebrated his 100th Test match in style as France stunned New Zealand at Lancaster Park, Christchurch, yesterday. It was only their second

international win in New Zealand and followed their recent loss to Canada.

For Sella the victory went some way to compensating for his dismissal in that game. 'It was the best match of my career because it was the 100th, but also because it was such a great victory, and especially because it was in New Zealand. We looked more like a Third Division side in Canada but here we were internationals.'

The superiority of the French pack, who always looked more mobile about the pitch, and their fine defence around the rucks and mauls all rather ruined winger John Kirwan's day. He was setting a New Zealand record with his 59th appearance.

The tourists led 9-3 at half-time: Jean-Luc Sadourny and Christophe Deylaud each dropped a goal and Thierry Lacroix kicked a penalty in reply to Matthew Cooper's penalty that opened the scoring.

Another Deylaud drop goal extended the lead but the All Blacks looked dangerous, especially when they spread the ball wide and Cooper missed two penalties.

There was no way back for the home side when Philippe Benetton scored a superb try in the left-hand corner. The French captain Philippe Saint-Andre set Benetton up by running on to a perfectly judged kick from Lacroix and flicking back the pass despite being tackled by two defenders. Lacroix converted that and added a futher penalty.

Frank Bunce scored after sustained All Blacks pressure to make the score a little more respectable.

New Zealand: Try Bunce; Penalty Cooper. France: Try Benneton; Conversion Lacroix; Penalties Lacroix 2; Drop goals Deylaud 2, Sadourny.

NEW ZEALAND: J Timu; J Kirwan, F Bunce, J Lomu, M Cooper; S Mannix, S Forster; R Loe, S Fitzpatrick (capt), O Brown, M Cooksley, B Larsen, M Brewer, I Jones, A Pene.

FRANCE: J-L Sadourny; E Ntamack, P Sella, T Lacroix, P Saint-Andre (capt); C Deylaud, G Accoceberry; C Califano, J-M Gonzalez, L Benezech, O Roumat, O Merle, P Benetton, L Cabannes, A Benazzi.

Referee: D Bevan (Wales).

Australia's 20-7 win over Italy in Melbourne only came to life in the final 10 minutes when David Campese scored a controversial try. The Italians quickly responded when Carlo Orlandi crashed over as the final siren sounded and Luigi Troiani kicked the conversion. Tim Wallace scored all the points before that flurry with five penalties.