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All Blacks end year on winning note by holding off France fightback

Published 26/11/2016

Beauden Barrett scored 14 points for New Zealand
Beauden Barrett scored 14 points for New Zealand

Beauden Barrett scored 14 points for New Zealand as they held off a late France fightback to claim a 24-19 victory in their final fixture of 2016.

The hosts whittled a 15-point All Blacks advantage down to just five by the end, but Steve Hansen's side, who saw their 18-match winning streak ended by Ireland in Chicago earlier this month, finished their Northern Hemisphere trip on a high.

France were on the front foot in the early stages, but Israel Dagg scored a try for the game's first points as he touched down for a 10th time this year after Julian Savea had collected Barrett's high kick to spring a break.

Barrett's penalty padded the lead, though the French replied with two of their own from Maxime Machenaud to make it 10-6 at the interval.

The hosts looked certain to claim a go-ahead score, but Barrett intercepted a pass five minutes from his own line and raced away for the second New Zealand try three minutes into the second half.

After a Baptiste Serin penalty, replacement prop Charlie Faumuina barrelled over for New Zealand, though number eight Louis Picamoles scored France's first try, while another Serin penalty meant the All Blacks' margin of victory was less handsome.

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