The Black Ferns have lost their first rugby test in almost a year and a half, going down 30-27 to France in Grenoble.
The result means the series is drawn at 1-all after the Black Ferns won the first test 14-nil.
The home side outscored the Black Ferns four tries to three and led 19-14 at halftime and again domiated the Black Ferns at scrum time just as they did in the first test.
The result meant there was no winning finish for veteran loose Linda Itunu who is retiring from international rugby.
Itunu, who was a late addition to the starting lineup after Les Elder was a late withdrawal made several charging runs and was a stand out on defence.
Discipline was also an issue for the Black Ferns with twing Ayesha Leti-I'iga and midfielder Ruahei Demant both receiving yellow cards.
The Black Ferns last loss was in June last year when they were beaten 29-21 by England in Rotorua.