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France rode a wave of passionate home support to beat three-times champions New Zealand 27-13 on Friday in the opening match of the 10th Rugby World Cup, burnishing their title pretentions by prevailing in a contest of rare intensity.

The defeat was the first ever in a World Cup pool match for the All Blacks, who lost skipper Sam Cane to injury just before kickoff but opened the scoring through winger Mark Telea inside two minutes.

Three penalties from fullback Thomas Ramos to one from New Zealand flyhalf Richie Mo’unga had France 9-8 ahead at the break but Telea struck again off a looping Rieko Ioane pass three minutes into the second half.

Winger Damian Penaud scored a converted try in the 54th minute to put France 16-13 ahead and Ramos added another two penalties and Melvyn Jaminet crossed for another five-pointer two minutes from time.

Rugby World Cup: Squads | Schedule | Standings | Podcast | Injuries

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