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Tuesday 21 August 2018

Ntamack recalls Eden Park win ahead of rematch

Not many players ever experience what it's like to win at Eden Park.

New Zealand have not lost at their spiritual rugby home since 1994, when France won an absorbing and exhilarating contest 23-20 on the back of two wonderfully crafted tries from flying full-back Jean-Luc Sadourny and pacy winger Emile Ntamack.

Sadourny's try in the closing seconds silenced the Eden Park crowd and broke the already fragile All Blacks hearts following a comprehensive defeat by the French in Christchurch the previous week.

"It felt incredible to do this, winning at Eden Park," said Ntamack. "How do you think the All Blacks took it?

"They felt completely destroyed, they conceded that try in the last seconds when they'd led the match."

It is still fresh in the mind of Ntamack, who is now coaching France's backs at the World Cup, with the French playing New Zealand tomorrow at Eden Park.

The French have left their mark at the World Cup, with thrilling wins against New Zealand in 1999 and 2007



Culture

But they have never won rugby's showpiece despite being in two finals -- losing the first to the All Blacks in 1987 and the other to Australia in 1999.

French inconsistency is as synonymous as French flair.

"I think it's also our culture," said Ntamack. "We have players who are capable of playing the level offered up to them, who are capable of matching the best.

"We are capable of moving mountains when we're all together, and when not (we're) capable of being ridiculous and losing to a team that's not at (our) level. Italy not so long ago (in the Six Nations, this year)."

Richie McCaw will become the first New Zealander to play 100 tests when he leads out the All Blacks.

The greatest All Black of them all, Colin Meads, said he hopes McCaw has a night to remember in the country's biggest city.

"It's a remarkable achievement and I'm pleased he'll be the first to reach 100 because he deserves it and it's history," Meads said. "We'll always remember that he was the first to 100 tests."

FRANCE v NEW ZEALAND

live tomorrow Setanta Ire/Itv1

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