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
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058