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All Blacks start 2013 with a shaky win

New Zealand claimed a 23-13 win in the first Steinlager Test of the series with France at Eden Park on Saturday night, but the victory knocked more rust than gold dust out of the home team's system.

It was a game bearing all the hallmarks of an early season Test match with both sides introducing several new combinations. For the All Blacks that resulted in the usual clarity and precision expected of them.

France could claim something of a morale boost but were too ill-disciplined to be able to claim a moral victory. For all that they did well in having such an inexperienced side perform to stretch the home team for as long as they did. They unleashed players who look likely to make a significant impact in the future, headed by centres Florian Fritz and Wesley Fofane. Wing Adrien Plante also impressed.

Full article here.

Photo: photosport.co.nz