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