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All Blacks beat France to end season on high

Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand 26/11/2016
France Rugby - France v New Zealand All Blacks - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France, 26/11/2016. New Zealand players including Julian Savea (R) celebrate. REUTERS/Gonzalo In action: All Blacks v France, Nov 27, 2016

The All Blacks were often on the back foot, but a clinical three-try performance helped them beat a wasteful France 24-19 in their final Test of the season at the Stade de France. 

First five-eighth Beauden Barrett scored a try and kicked nine points to add to Israel Dagg and Charlie Faumuina's tries, ensuring the All Blacks remained unbeaten in Paris since 1973.

Maxime Machenaud kicked two penalties while Baptiste Serin slotted two penalties and a conversion as France, who scored a try through Louis Picamoles, failed to make their first-half domination count on Sunday morning (NZ Time).

All Blacks captain Kieran Read concedes they could have played better against the nation they beat 62-13 in last year's World Cup, but said he was happy with his side's gutsy effort.

"Probably the difference between this week and last week is our discipline was a lot better so we didn't have to keep defending and giving away penalties, so that was a positive," he said.

"It obviously meant we got the ball a bit more and it was certainly not perfect, but we'll take it."

The All Blacks end their 2016 season with 13 wins from 14 games, with their only loss against Ireland in Chicago.

For France, who were coming off a narrow loss to Australia, their improvements under new manager Guy Noves bode well for next year's Six Nations, starting with a tough trip to Twickenham to face Eddie Jones's England.

- AAP

Recap Radio New Zealand's live commentary of the All Blacks beating France in Paris for their final Test of 2016.

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