Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

Mixed French aims make them worth a punt
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The Independent Online

When the draw was made for the Rugby World Cup, the match between New Zealand and France stood out as the most compelling in the competition's early stages.

France have twice been the agents of the All Blacks' demise in World Cups – in the semi-finals in 1999 (43-31), then in the quarter-finals in 2007 (20-18).

The game isn't a knockout this time but the French have been accused of trying to take advantage of Ireland's win over Australia by picking a not-quite first XV, in order to finesse a defeat that allows them to avoid the other two Tri-Nations teams in the semis. Bookies (Bet 365, Sportingbet) make France 10-1 shots accordingly, with New Zealand 1-10 with Coral. At that price, £10 has to go on France, with England impossible to back at 1-500 against Romania.

Tomorrow's games, and prices, in the NFL are more competitive, with three volatile divisional encounters catching the eye. Philadelphia may risk quarterback Michael Vick against the New York Giants after he suffered concussion last week and should exploit the Giants' injury-hit defence; the Chicago Bears host arch-rivals Green Bay and their running back Matt Forte might edge them home; while Tampa Bay, comeback winners at Minnesota, can down the Falcons – a £10 win treble pays just under £64.

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