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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
1999: France 43-31 N Zealand
World Cup semi-final, 31 October 1999
Twickenham

Without question this ranks as the greatest game in World Cup history.

France celebrate their stunning comeback
France 43
Tries: Lamaison, Dominici, Dourthe, Bernat-Salles
Cons: Lamaison (4)
Pens: Lamaison (3) DGs: Lamaison (2)
New Zealand 31
Tries: Lomu (2), Wilson
Cons: Mehrtens (2)
Pens: Mehrtens (4)

France were never given a hope in the build-up against an All Blacks side that were everyone's favourite to lift the William Webb Ellis Trophy.

And Les Bleus hardly helped their cause as they slipped 24-10 behind and any hope of an upset appeared to be fading.

But in a sudden Gallic turnaround, they added 33 points to just seven from the All Blacks for a sensational victory.

The star of the match was Christophe Lamaison, who had been overlooked by the selectors prior to the game and only made the starting XV following the withdrawal of the injured Thomas Castaignede.

Lamaison started the game in some style, ripping through the All Blacks defence for the first try.

But it was in his kicking - he did not miss a single one all match - and his attacking play that he turned the tide.

Lomu, though, ensured New Zealand were some way ahead of France with two tries, typically powering over for his second score.

But, with the scores at 24-10, the All Blacks were briefly caught napping and the way was paved for arguably the biggest turnaround in rugby history.

Lamaison's two drop-goals and two penalties in quick succession gave France a realistic chance and, rather than regroup, a talented New Zealand side fell apart.

From there, the tries came in some style.

First, Christian Dominici latched onto a Fabien Galthie box kick to score, before Richard Dourthe classily held on to a Lamaison crossfield kick for another five points.

Philippe Bernat-Salles added another effort to leave the All Blacks reeling. Jeff Wilson scored a consolation effort at the death.


New Zealand: Jeff Wilson; Tana Umaga, Christian Cullen, Alama Ieremia, Jonah Lomu; Andrew Mehrtens, Jason Kelleher; Carl Hoeft, Anton Oliver, Craig Dowd, Norm Maxwell, Zinzan Brooke, Reuben Thorne, Kronfeld, TaineRandell.

France: Xavier Garbajosa; Philippe Bernat-Salles, Richard Dourthe, Emile Ntamack, Christophe Dominici; Christophe Lamaison, Fabien Galthie; Cedric Soulette, Raphael Ibanez (capt), Franck Tournaire, Abdel Benazzi, Fabien Pelous, Marc Lievremont, Olivier Magne, Christophe Juillet.





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