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The ink was hardly dry on Rugby Today’s Friday column, stating that the French Women’s 15 had never beaten the Black Ferns, when, a day later, Les Bleues pulled off a major upset, winning 30-27. The loss contributed to New Zealand’s Black (pun intended) Saturday when that great rugby nation suffered a rare double Test disaster with the Men’s and the Women’s fifteens losing away games in Europe.

France had lost to the Black Ferns a week earlier 14-0 without showing any offence but seven-days later, the team scored four tries to three for the opposition.  Caroline Drouin’s 15-points (one try, two conversions, two penalties) sparked the victory.

It was the first French win against five previous defeats.

For the French team, ranked third, the win will provide a morale booster as France prepare for the winter 2019 Six Nations battle, where the match against England could be the decider again for the title. Much praise extended in France to the Women’s Coach, Annick Hayroaud.

Three other Women’s matches were played in the November Test window:

England 27 – Canada 19 – Second ranked England had a tough time against visiting Canada, ranked fourth. The Red Roses led 15-7 at the break and both sides scored 12 points in the second period.

Spain 17 – South Africa 5 - Las Leones prevailed against an improving South African fifteen.

USA 19 – Ireland 7 -The Eagles led 7-0 at the half. Tries from Bizer, Rozier, and Broughton. The Irish dropped from eighth to tenth in the World Rugby rankings.