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New Zealand wins 28-23 to continue stranglehold over France

LYON, France (AP) New Zealand continued its stranglehold over France with a hard-fought 28-23 away win on Tuesday.

Although the match did not hold test match status, it was effectively a 12th straight success over the French and followed Saturday’s 38-18 test win. France has not beaten the All Blacks since an away win in 2009 and not at home since 2000.

Flanker Liam Squire and uncapped right winger Matt Duffie scored tries as the All Blacks twice led in the first half.

But right winger Gabriel Lacroix, one of six uncapped players in the France side, scored two of his own as Les Bleus led 15-14 at halftime.

New Zealand stepped it up after the break, with Patrick Tuipulotu and center Ngani Laumape showing great strength on their tries.

With a little more than 10 minutes left, the home side was given a lifeline when New Zealand center Jack Goodhue was sinbinned for a cynical tackle off the ball as France attacked near the line.

France made the extra man count as flanker Sekou Macalou made a brilliant run down the left and, after he was just tackled just near the line, Chavancy picked up the loose ball and touched down.

Plisson missed the conversion, leaving New Zealand five points ahead with six minutes to go.

Coach Steve Hansen’s side defended well enough in the closing moments to hold the result.

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