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Sunday, June 16, 2013

The All Blacks win the series with convincing victory over France

The All Blacks kept France tryless as they sealed the Test series with an emphatic 30-0 victory in Christchurch on Saturday. It was the All Blacks' 500th Test, and skipper Kieran Read's 50th, leading to a special night for the 21 000 fans in attendance.

The home side scored three tries as they claimed the Dave Gallaher Cup with one match to go in the series. It's the first time they've ever kept France scoreless, so it was a deeply satisfying performance for coach Steve Hansen. 

"It was a performance that we expected. We felt at training we'd gone up about nine or 10 cogs. The accuracy was there, the sharpness was there and that's just spending time together."

Flyhalf Aaron Cruden kicked 15 points while great tries were scored by Julian Savea, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett. The last time France were kept scoreless was a 21-0 loss to Scotland in 1990.

"It was a great standard for us to set," said skipper Kieran Read. "Defence really shows the character of a side and your willingness to put your body on the line for each other.

"We really stuck at it when they brought it to us around the rucks. We've got to build from that. It was certainly a great effort. It's awesome to put in that effort and then get the reward at the end."

The two sides meet again next weekend in New Plymouth, where France will want to make things right, while the All Blacks will no doubt be looking for a clean sweep and win the series 3-0.

Highlights and clips from the other games will be archived and shared soon

Posted at 6:36 am | 31 comments

Posted in All Blacks, Midyear Tours

Viewing 31 comments

DrG June 16, 2013 2:11 pm

I had the displeasure of watching the second half of this NZ FRA game. I use the word displeasure not because I wanted France to win, but because I feel disappointed that I spent 40 mins (only the 2nd half) watching Michalak butcher any chances the French had!!

Can the French fans really say Michalak is their best 10? Why not Trinh-Duc, or even Parra!!!

On the other side of things I thought NZ played very well, defence was solid and running was hard as usual. Not sure about Nonu today though, seemed a bit quiet (maybe I just missed his stuff)

The French management has been so poor of late. Really hope they get someone GOOD to come and take over!

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ruckinmaul June 17, 2013 9:51 am

Agree with you. Michalak is so shit in attack especially his pass. Cannot make a single good pass to the runner. Always a bit behind, killing all the momentum of the runner. Tirnh Duc is always my first choice fly half for France, then David Skrela. They have been short in good fly half when the top 3 teams in the Top 14, aren't French. Clermont - Brock James, Toulouse - McAlister, Toulon - Wilkinson (Michalak not the first choice, third choice acutally behind Giteau) . Remi Tales of Castres is not good enough though.

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DrG June 17, 2013 3:40 pm

Lets be fair, even small number 9 Parra would do better at 10 than Michalak, I thought Parra played brilliantly in the RWC, until his injury. I don't understand how the French management could omit Trinh-Duc and pick Freddie.

Trinh-Duc does have his faults, he is by no means a perfect 10, but he plays a far better game at 10 than Michalak has done (at least in recent years!).

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BenjaJ June 17, 2013 4:43 pm

David Skrela is too old, and he never made a great game for France, like Beauxis.

Trinh Duc is the best french flyhalf. But Tales is good, he's not incredible but still. And Lopez is a very promising flyhalf, he is more creative than Tales but still a little bit young. There is also Wisniewski (Racing Metro) and Plisson (Stade Français).

Marc Lievremont decided to settle Trinh Duc in flyhalf for 3 years, but he changed his plans during the World Cup. Maybe Saint André, who apparently has choosed to settle Michalak, will change his plans too.

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Pipo June 17, 2013 9:59 am

And doesn't Michalak play his club rugby mostly at 9 anyways?

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BenjaJ June 17, 2013 4:30 pm

Yes, he played mostly 9 with Toulon this season.
And when he changed position during the second half, he was definitely better. At scrumhalf he is quick, dangerous ball in hand, with a good kick and a great vision. At 10 he's slow and predictable. He never took the advantage line and always played outside. Easy to defend.

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iluvyomumma June 16, 2013 2:22 pm

Final try will be irb try of the year. Brilliant try

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christophe June 16, 2013 2:49 pm

Eh oui il fallait s y attendre.....2-0 et je sens le 3-0 a la fin de la serie... Pauvre equipe de frane....Et le management est tellement coupable..Je ne parle meme pas de la FFR et leur strategie ridicule avec le top 14 et l arrivee en masse de joueurs du sud....

Bravo les AB !!!!

Encore une fois une demonstration mais plus une demonstration d un mauvais rugby francais qu un bon rugby AB.

Ca sent la fin d un nombre de joueurs francais....8-))

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kadova June 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Christophe, could you please make an effort and write in english, like i do. This is an international website so English is the language to be used.

I agree players management is very poor, but i disagree, it's not the end for some french players. I'm not that pessimistic ;)

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DaRabman June 16, 2013 3:34 pm

This might shock some people, but I wouldn't have actually put my money on a team which narrowly avoided the 6N wooden spoon and is rife with selection and management issues to win a three-test series against the top-ranked IRB team.

Maybe the New Zealand squad will feel happy for themselves by beating the Evil French in this series, which is very nice for them of course, but France don't threaten NZ in mid-year international tours, they threaten them in high-pressure knock out rugby.

And it's in those circumstances that I predict France will utterly smash them in the quarters of the RWC 2015, leading to much dismay and head scratching all round.

ALLEZ LES BLEUS!

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Razor June 16, 2013 6:01 pm

Lets revist this post then shall we? Until then, if you want to talk about high pressure knock out rugby, what is more high pressure than the final of a world cup? Out of two world cup final meet ups between France and New Zealand, New Zealand has won both of them. France coming away empty handed on both occasions. They have also just beaten France twice, which as you say was probably on the cards, but by the look of the French at the end of the first game, you could tell they thought that was their chance.
Personally I hope the French can regroup in time for the next world cup because they are one of the most enjoyable to watch when they are at their best.

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Guillaume June 16, 2013 6:34 pm

Please do not speak about the last world cup final, the refereeing was just a joke and France ended up at one point from the GREATEST TEAM IN THE WHOLE WORLD even Sir Craig Joubert.

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Pipo June 17, 2013 10:06 am

I know complaining about the refereeing is lame... but I can't help feel that the RWC final was somewhat tainted by a seemingly partial referee (in favour of the ABs).

Am I deluded in thinking this way?

But, yeah, great game anyways, so close! Won by just 1 point!

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DrG June 17, 2013 3:43 pm

I felt the refereeing was a tad dubious towards the French in that final. I am not French, but I will admit I was rooting for the underdogs that game, so maybe I am a little bias. Although, I have seen analysis videos of some decisions which seem very pro AB and anti French.

I am not sure if the referee was aware of his decisions or maybe the French got under his skin early on, and he was less lenient on them??

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kadova June 19, 2013 8:26 pm

Yes, you're deluded, but at first it actually looked that way.
We have a great french website named Le Rugbynistere, and they went through the whole match very closely and studied the way the referee Joubert acted toward both teams.
The outcome was Joubert made mistakes but not more against the French than against the All Blacks.
They used 20 referees, both French and foreign to do the study, and they got the outcome validated by Joel Jutge, who's french and now the world head of the referees.
So we can believe what they said.
This was possible because one of the webmasters is a rugby referee himself, so he has contacts within the refereeing world.

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kadova June 19, 2013 8:33 pm

Guillaume, if you're french or if you can read french, try this:

http://www.lerugbynistere.fr/news/le-debrief-de-joel-jutge--vis-ma-vie-de-craig-joubert--.php

So you will stop being upset for nothing.

:)

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kadova June 19, 2013 8:19 pm

I hope France will be first of their pool in 2015 and so avoid the ABs in the quarters.

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Mousepad June 16, 2013 7:52 pm

Typical of the commenters here, focusing on France rather than the All Blacks. Attention should be paid to the vast improvement of the All Blacks compared to the previous week.

Greatest All Black performance I've seen in a long time. Absolutely controlled the game in every facet, especially in the line-out and kicking game. Wooden spooners or not, France is still a professional rugby team and usually the best in Europe (the Six Nations is a farce, who takes that seriously?). To be held scoreless speaks volume... A performance this great would dominate any other opposition.

The breakdown is a concern, but the All Blacks played around it. Without McCaw, we desperately need a Jerome Kaino-like player. Cane doesn't complement Messam's style, neither are ruthless enough. Just support runners.

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DrG June 16, 2013 8:47 pm

Tbh, the reason I don't focus on the AB's is because this game was always theirs for the winning....

...France were always the underdogs (as is anyone going against NZ), and rather than performing well they performed abysmally, or at least Michalak did, which begs us all to question the French management.

The AB's won, like usual, and had a near faultless performance...

Not much else can be said about the AB's.

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Byron June 17, 2013 12:00 am

For NZ its not about the win, we always knew we were going to win. Its about the AB's performance, game plan, team work, accuracy, commitment.

The French didn't play that badly, the AB's just played a great game plan that blew them off the park and put the French under IMMENSE pressure. The pressure was the key (kick chasers, charging down every kick etc), and forced the French into making mistakes or bad decisions. They didn't just happen for no reason.

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Colombes June 16, 2013 11:02 pm

A great lesson of lethal rugby executed by the All Blacks.

Their defence created all the 3 tries, and was able to annihilate and counter any french occasions. They played the perfect stategy vs France: Wait, Push-back les bleus with a big kicking game, and win the breakdown. The 3rd try was the best example: Attack from les bleus, turn-over in the AB's 22 and greats hands by ranger and crudden, top class!

On the other hand, France was very sloppy. When you have 3 or 4 clear occasions to score a try, you need to transform it. More astonishing, they seem to lack a plan B. It's quite certain that most of players must be tired after the top14 season, but i would have prefer to see more intelligence, than kamikaze attacks
Whatever the 3rd test outcome, hope that somes lads will show themselves.

Ps: On michalak, i've too respect to join the man bashing, but yes, he doesn't have the fitness to fight vs the best international sides

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Southernman June 16, 2013 11:46 pm

What the highlights don't show is that for that second try, the ABs were on their goal line and successfully defended 26 consecutive phases of play. When the French started going backwards, they then attempted a drop goal which was charged down... moments later the AB's score.

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mrjmmlc June 17, 2013 12:31 am

drop savea conrad smith or ben smith and give a start to ranger and a chance to luatua and piutau who havent played yet.

1 crocket
2 coles
3 o franks
4 romano
5 whitelock
6 vito
7 messam
8 read
9 a smith
10 dan carter
11 savea / ranger
12 nonu
13 ranger / c smith
14 b smith / ranger
15 dagg

16 mealamu
17 woodcock
18 b franks
19 retalick
20 luatua
21 weepu
22 cruden
23 piutau

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jimter10 June 17, 2013 5:00 am

I live in NZ and went to the game on Saturday, I was supporting the french just because I love an underdog but they were pretty toothless when it got to the end business end of the pitch.

What I wanted to say though was.....the All Black fans are terrible. The only noise that came from them was booing the french onto the field and cheering their points. Ok, that doesn't sound so bad, but there were clumps of 10 or so french fans singing and cheering throughout the game that could be heard a stand away. The kiwis sit there in silence expecting a win. I know kiwis are stoic, but it was being in the library section of a church.

I've watched Irl, Arg and France play them now, and every time the travelling fans have made the game. If the kiwi fans got anywhere close to as good as their players, the games would be phenomenal.

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Gungehammer June 17, 2013 6:18 pm

There isn't a tradition in NZ of singing or cheering during the game. We only have one monosyllabic chant as well! I wish it were otherwise but it would take time to change.

Unfortunately it's also become more common for fans of all nations to boo the opposition. I still stay silent for all kickers and clap / cheer for any points scored by either team, but it appears I'm old fashioned that way.

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DrG June 18, 2013 12:20 pm

Agree with you about booing etc. It is a shame as it is such a soccer thing to do! I despise it. I think it is especially poor when you get a lesser skilled nation who could be losing by over 20 points etc, and they still get booed when they step up to take a penalty.

I wouldn't say you're old fashioned (as that would mean I too am old fashioned :( ) I'd say you just enjoy a good rugby spectacle!

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Jeri June 17, 2013 10:17 am

I watched the game and thought France kicking game let them down. It was clear by 20 minutes in that the All Blacks were gonna use territorial kicking as their major game plan. The French did respond, but couldn't seem to come out on top against Cruden's accuracy in combination with Dagg's powerful punts.

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BenjaJ June 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Indeed, the first half was a demonstration of kicking skills by the All Blacks. When you see Nonu doing awesome kicks you know that your fullback is going to have a tough night. Medard was often alone, leaving him not a lot of options.
Except on the first try, I don't think that Nonu played very well. He was smashed a few times by Fritz and even Machenaud (the little scrumhalf!), he made one linebreak but mostly because of Michalak unbelievable defense on... nobody. I definitely want to see Ranger with Conrad Smith for the third test.

French lost 6 lineouts and missed 20 tackles. It's impossible to win the All Blacks with these stats, especially when they are in a great day. The score is a bit harsh, but the All Blacks were almost perfect. Greatest performance in a long time.
Maybe with Doussain in 9 and Lopez or Tales in 10 for the last test French will play better.

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Guest June 19, 2013 2:26 am

Yes AB's fans are more silent supporters so what? they were there to watch a good game of rugby not be cheerleaders from the stands. I wasnt at the game on saturday but i know you are full of crap about the AB's fans booing the French! this just doesnt happen in NZ, only when England and Australia are playing!!

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peterB June 19, 2013 6:02 am

It's true that NZ doesn't have a tradition of singing or chanting at the rugby, they like to watch the football and in my experience seem to enjoy themselves just as much as anybody. Unfortunately there are always idiots who boo the opposition and I've heard them in crowds in a lot of countries, and NZ is no exception. So to say it doesn't happen is silly.

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kadova June 19, 2013 8:15 pm

Michalak is injured again, and at the same shoulder as the last time 3 months ago.
So the third test will be with Lopez or Tales as 10.
The issue with this player is that the head coach refuses to say why he keeps selecting him. When asked by the medias, he's making up things.
He decided to leave Trinh Duc to rest for this tour, as he has planned to try several new players. At least, that's something i agree with (to try new players).
Parra was also injured (less seriously than Michalak) so he was not taken either for the tour.
I read the ABs had only 3 days together before the first match, when you could see France had a chance to win if they had not made so many mistakes.
About this second test, this was simply a lesson of rugby by the ABs. There's not much to add.
I hope the third test will see the French trying things and not being afraid of taking risks, as they're so much better when they dare. I read Hansen is going to start new players so we could do something...but Carter should play.

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