Planet Rugby

All Blacks crush the French

15th June 2013 10:30

Share:

new zealand france israel dagg

Too good: Israel Dagg

New Zealand sealed a Test series victory over France with a dominant 30-0 win at AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday.

The two sides will meet again next weekend in New Plymouth with France unable to overtake New Zealand's unassailable 2-0 lead, which came after a comfortable victory over their fellow 2011 Rugby World Cup finalists.

France showed good accuracy and discipline last weekend in Auckland but their lineout this time out particularly in the first half was shambolic; coming under pressure from New Zealand but also wildly missing their targets.

Ben Smith's breakaway try at the beginning of the second half summed up France's woes - putting sustained pressure on the New Zealand line but unable to find a breakthrough as they finished without a score in a Test for the first time since 1990.

Philippe Saint-André made several changes to his side following the first Test defeat, with Michalak returning at fly-half and young South African-born flanker Bernard Le Roux making his debut in the number seven jersey.

A late change for New Zealand meanwhile saw Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock come into the side for Chiefs second row Brodie Retallick, in an otherwise unchanged XV from last week's victory in Auckland.

The hosts made the early breakthrough - Ma'a Nonu's grubber finding Julian Savea behind the defence to rack up the game's first try in only the third minute of the match.

France struggled to control possession at the lineout and found themselves stuck inside their own half for much of the opening quarter, although some impressive defence on Nonu in particular prevented any further damage on the scoreboard.

Les Bleus had been on top at the breakdown in the first Test and continued that form early on in Christchurch, disrupting any clean ball for the All Blacks who enjoyed the majority of possession as France persisted to kick the ball away.

Two moments of inaccuracy then struck Frederic Michalak within a few minutes, a drop goal falling wide and then his first penalty attempt ricocheting back off the right-hand post and putting the All Blacks on the attack as Read countered. Pressure on Maxime Medard fielding a kick near his own line yielded a penalty for Aaron Cruden, putting New Zealand 10-0 up.

The All Blacks kicking game continued to press France back into their 22, but whilst the visitors defence was excellent, Dimitri Szarzewski's problems running the short lineout kept handing New Zealand possession five metres out. For every lineout error however, the work of Thierry Dusautoir and Louis Picamoles at the breakdown saved the day time and again.

With time ticking away in the first half the All Blacks defence repelled a French driving maul to the leave the visitors scoreless at the interval, New Zealand 10-0 up.

The All Blacks then delivered the knockout blow. Outstanding defence metres out from their own line for the first ten minutes of the second half forced Michalak into a drop goal, the inevitable chargedown leading to Savea and Ben Smith sprinting away for a length of the field score.

Losing Louis Picamoles to injury rubbed salt in French wounds as Cruden added a second penalty - New Zealand leading 20-0 with plenty of time left in the second half.

Looking for something to take towards the third Test next weekend, France introduced plenty of substitutes including Mathieu Bastareaud in midfield but fell further behind due to another Cruden penalty after 64 minutes.

Determined not to concede, New Zealand remained physical in defence and then sealed the win with a stunning score.

Attacking from their own try line, Conrad Smith's chip over the top was recovered by Cruden, whose slick offload to Beauden Barrett saw the young replacement canter in under the posts.

France toiled to find some points as time ran out but to no avail - a dominant victory for New Zealand who showed plenty of improvement from last weekend in Auckland and added some memorable tries to boot.

The scorers:

For New Zealand:
Tries: Savea, B. Smith, Barrett
Cons: Cruden 3
Pens: Cruden 3

For France:

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (c), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Wyatt Crockett.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Tony Woodcock, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Rene Ranger.

France: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Adrien Planté, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (c), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Benjamin Kayser, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Brice Dulin, 22 Remi Tales, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), James Leckie(Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Bath15:00
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs Northampton13:00
London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South Africa15:00
Scotland vs Tonga14:30
Ireland vs Australia16:30
Wales vs New Zealand17:30
England vs Samoa19:00
France vs Argentina21:00
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs Leinster14:30
Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720