Spirited France XV come up short against New Zealand

An experimental New Zealand side held off a France XV to win 28-23 in Lyon as Les Bleus' miserable recent record continued.

The All Blacks defeated France in Paris on Saturday, with the hosts without a win since the Six Nations ended in March.

Although New Zealand were themselves without a number of key men for this second fixture, they still had too much for the hosts, who led at half-time and then mustered another rally late on.

The visitors moved ahead through Liam Squire's try, with Lima Sopoaga converting, before France responded in kind with Gabriel Lacroix's converted score.

Matt Duffie's try helped restore New Zealand's seven-point lead, but Lacroix again hit back and Trinh-Duc's penalty - after a missed conversion - secured France's 15-14 advantage at the break.

The All Blacks came roaring out of the blocks after the restart, though, and Nathan Harris' disallowed try was only a temporary reprieve for the home side.

Patrick Tuipulotu scored and the conversion followed, before Ngani Laumape followed suit and Richie Mo'unga - one of a number of debutants - kicked well to open up a 28-15 lead.

Jules Plisson's penalty goal gave France hope and Henry Chavancy then went over for 28-23, but they could not muster a crucial fourth try.

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