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 , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00