All Blacks vs France: Test rugby union live scores, blog

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    Match result:

    The All Blacks have beaten the French at Eden Park 52-11 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series in a game that really was sadly too strongly impacted by a few key refereeing decisions.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    New Zealand 52
    France 11

    Match preview:

    The June series kicks off as the All Blacks look to defend their incredible record at Eden Park against France in Game 1 of a three-match series. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).

    French rugby is improving under their new coach, Jacques Brunel.

    Known for running hot and cold, Brunel has turned France into one of the most effective defensive units in world rugby.

    The early benefits of this were seen in the Six Nations, with a good win against England, while they were actually leading as the final hooter sounded against champions Ireland.

    Sadly, the French will be hampered by some injuries to key players. Fans won’t get to see the likes of skipper Guilhem Guirado, Virimi Vakatawa, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yoann Huget, Maxime Machenaud, Lionel Beauxis or Brice Dulin – some significant talent missing.

    Morgan Parra will bring experience and skill though, as he returns at #9, and the French have some real danger players including Teddy Thomas, who is able to score from anywhere and the All Blacks will need to make sure they don’t switch off for a second.

    For the All Blacks, Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams are big omissions. SBW hasn’t had the season that he’d have wanted so far thanks to injury but he’s a proven performer.

    The selection of Jordie Barrett at fullback, moving Ben Smith to the wing, gives some indication that Steve Hansen is expecting plenty of aerial bombardment. Jordie is tall and solid under the high ball and Smith is ever dependable.

    Prediction
    The French will have to play the game of their lives to trouble the home side.

    After a bit of a rocky 2017, the All Blacks will want to impress from the first whistle. A scary prospect.

    New Zealand to win by 18.

    Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match from 5:35pm (AEST).

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    The Crowd Says (244)

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    • 8:19pm
      Lara said | 8:19pm | ! Report

      Territory, patience, dominate possession n then the yellow card . The French had the best defence in 6N n it held for a long time, but it was the ABs who looked more dangerous . Not doubt the yellow helped , but the better team won.

    • Roar Guru

      8:07pm
      Oliver Matthews said | 8:07pm | ! Report

      FULL MATCH REPORT

      The All Blacks have beaten the French at Eden Park 52-11 to take a 1-0 lead in the three match series in a game that really was sadly too strongly impacted by a few key refereeing decisions.

      Ahead of the game there was lots of talk about how the French would be able to compete with so many injuries to key players but they really stood up in the first half of the match. They took their opportunities with both boot and in hand including an sneaky try when Grosso was able to intercept a pass from Ben Smith and run in unopposed from 20 metres out. The men in blue really did a good job of disrupting the All Blacks rhythm and their defence was not easy to break down. This combination meant that they got out to an early lead and held that lead into half time.

      The All Blacks looked like a team that was patient to a certain degree but that was also beginning to get a bit frustrated at the lack of crispness and penetration in their attack. There were a few too many errors by the home side and that would have annoyed Hansen. He would have been happy though with the way that the three Barrett brothers contributed to the All Blacks only try of the first half – Scott made a nice burst through a couple of tacklers and was able to off load to Jordie who sprinted away. The ball was quickly recycled and Beauden made a lovely sweeping move around the back of the ruck to take the final pass and score in the corner. It was a reminder of how quickly the All Blacks can pounce but the fact that they only did this once in the first half highlights how strong the Blues had been in defence. They really made it hard for the home side to get any off loads out of the tackle and so made it hard for the Kiwis to get in behind the defence.

      The game was perfectly poised for the second half. The All Blacks started to put the French under real pressure in the first ten minutes and the visitors had to defend for a long period of time. But defend they did and the score remained 8-11 for the French up until the 52nd minute. Unfortunately this is where things changed.

      The ref had been doing a very good job up until this point – he’d controlled the sides well and had already penalised Aaron Smith for one suggestion too many. But in the 51st minute he made a rash decision to sin bin Gabrillagues for a high tackle without asking for some TMO support. Refs are often criticised for referring too many decisions to the TMO but in this instance it was critical that the technology available was used. Instead the ref made an immediate decision and while the French lock jogged off the replays were showing that the tackle really only deserved a penalty at most.

      The All Blacks hadn’t been able to get their rhythm going against 15 men but against 14 men they moved up through the gears quickly and were flying. During the 10 minutes sin bin they scored twice and that broke the French hearts. After that they ran in another four tries which blew the score out. Many of these were very nice tries including some great counter attacking examples that saw players like Ben Smith, Crotty, McKenzie and Laumape show off their pace and ability to hold off defenders in close quarters.

      The All Blacks confidence was up and they did a very good job of keeping the ball and making the French defend a huge amount in the final 30 minutes. When the French did have the ball they tried hard but lacked any real creativity and while players like Bastareaud and Thomas are real weapons, they needed some space and support to pose a real threat.

      The French will be frustrated not just at their yellow card but at the fact that when Sam Cane put in his own high tackle in the second half the referee still didn’t check the replays and this time only gave a penalty to the visitors. If the French deserved a yellow card then the All Blacks definitely did and this inconsistency is very annoying.

      Despite the result the French can look to game two with some hope. For 50 minutes they were going toe to toe with the best in the world. Thomas looked dangerous at times and his pace is just incredible – if they can get him some more ball in space in game two then he will scare any defender.

      The French will need their #9 and #10 to do a better job though. They weren’t bad in this game and it’s always hard when you don’t have the ball or are going backwards, but the French side need their halves to control the game and get their forwards running onto the ball.

      Parra’s inability to kick off his wrong foot is an issue and caused some trouble for the French when they tried to clear from their own 22. The clearances were leading to All Black line outs on the 22 and just heaped more and more pressure on the visitors. They need a bigger boot to help them get out of defence.
      For the home side there were some good performances. Codie Taylor played well and seemed to be involved in both scoring and assisting in tries in the second half. Squire had a quiet first half but was impressive in the second, stealing line outs and running hard with the ball.

      Super subs McKenzie and Laumape impressed with their pace and ability to run nice lines (although McKenzie really should have passed as he looked to score his second try of the night!) and Hansen will be happy that his bench was able to have a real impact on the game.

      If you just saw the scoreline you would assume that this was a very one sided game and that the whole series is already decided. But the devil is in the detail and the French need to remind themselves of the first 50 minutes as they prepare for Game two next weekend. Yes the All Blacks are strong favourites but the French showed that they can ruffle a few Kiwi feathers.

      • Roar Guru

        12:04am
        Harry Jones said | 12:04am | ! Report

        Good wrap.

        I thought the ref was really good except for the glaring inconsistency in the high tackle adjudication.

        Ordinarily, I’d wave that off, given the 40+ point margin, but it really, actually was a turning point in the French defensive system.

        Anyway, impressive AB “taking their chances.”

        Happy that NZ won. Happy that Japan won. Happy that OZ won.

        Worried SA will let —NZAAR down …

        • 12:10pm
          woodart said | 12:10pm | ! Report

          nah, shouldnt be worried harry, really looking forward to springboks All Blacks tests this year.

    • 8:07pm
      System of a Downey Jr said | 8:07pm | ! Report

      The yellow wasn’t a yellow but it was always going to impact on this French team who rely solely on defence because they are absolutely bereft of a single attacking idea. But the All Blacks were dominating the French line out, pushed their scrum around occasionally and the French could defend but weren’t interested in counter rucking – this all happened before the yellow card. Look at how often other teams be they England, Australia or the All Blacks have survived and even flourished while a man down. France kept losing the ball at vital times and their line out was an abomination – caught twice for early jumping on their own throw.

    • 8:07pm
      freddieeffer said | 8:07pm | ! Report

      As the game wore on, the AB’s clicked up another gear or two, as they usually do. They intelligently picked the French apart, then drove through the gaps. Equally, there was some very soft French attempts at tackles, and they simply lost their way/game-plan more and more as the second half progressed. Their lineout fell apart and they made unforced errors while the AB’s kicked for field position and territory pressure. It worked easily for them.

      The French need to have much more resilience, rugby smarts and starch if they are going to beat the AB’s.

      I thought the ref made a couple of big inconsistent blunders that favoured the home side each time (as often is the case with home ground advantage and the crowd)

    • 8:06pm
      Sita said | 8:06pm | ! Report

      @Oliver ref decisions.. the win is due to that?!,! Dude get over yourself!

    • 7:44pm
      Sylvester said | 7:44pm | ! Report

      Any team that melts that easily under a YC has serious issues.

    • 7:44pm
      MH01 said | 7:44pm | ! Report

      Disappointed with Ben Smith, he is a great player , no need for the acting . Ruined a good match .

    • 7:38pm
      moa said | 7:38pm | ! Report

      Crotty had more contact to his head when he congratulated Taylor on his try than he got in the silly YC tackle.

      France just learnt that a really good first 40 minutes doesn’t earn them a free pass in the 2nd half against a strong team.
      They impressed me early but barely had the ball or any field position at all for the 2nd half.Only one team in it.

      ABs missed Retallick especially on defence.Luke W and Squire almost made up for his absence.

      BB played really well but goalkicking fell apart alarmingly as the game went on.

      Teddy Thomas is fun to watch!

    • 7:38pm
      Suzy Poison said | 7:38pm | ! Report

      That wasn’t a yellow card. No contact with head or neck area. Bad decision by my fellow Saffa countryman.

      But, let’s be honest, All Blacks were always going to win, with the bench team they have. Sadly, the Yellow card changed the contest, in the second half, to blow out the score.

      • 7:39pm
        riddler said | 7:39pm | ! Report

        he is a pom.. good ref otherwise.. hope that he is guided a bit..

        we need all the good refs we can get..

        • 7:43pm
          Highlanders said | 7:43pm | ! Report

          Isn’t it good to see a ref march the yappers back 10, esp in his first big game
          Was really interested in how he would referee the contest at the breakdown, but there almost weren’t any
          Will have to see how the referee goes in then wallaby game to see if they have have any direction from World Rugby
          Good luck with the next one riddler

    • 7:38pm
      riddler said | 7:38pm | ! Report

      on a commentary note.. so good to have sky back doing the analysis with fitzy noddy etc..

      missed those guys..

    • 7:31pm
      Faith said | 7:31pm | ! Report

      The French will have a full side next week and on this showing and some spirit under the roof that could be fascinating …

      • 7:39pm
        moa said | 7:39pm | ! Report

        Crotty had more contact to his head when he congratulated Taylor on his try than he got in the silly YC tackle.

        France just learnt that a really good first 40 minutes doesn’t earn them a free pass in the 2nd half against a strong team.
        They impressed me early but barely had the ball or any field position at all for the 2nd half.Only one team in it.

        ABs missed Retallick especially on defence.Luke W and Squire almost made up for his absence.

        BB played really well but goalkicking fell apart alarmingly as the game went on.

        Teddy Thomas is fun to watch!

    • 7:30pm
      riddler said | 7:30pm | ! Report

      congrats kiwis..

      another clinical display..

      looking impressive..

      congrats to the debutants.. and sr & sra barrett for an amazing achievement..

      • Roar Pro

        7:33pm
        Rower who wishes he could play rugby. said | 7:33pm | ! Report

        How was it cynical?

      • 7:41pm
        Pinetree said | 7:41pm | ! Report

        Cheers riddler, apart from the yellow card mistake, the ref had a good game, and after the AB’s got into gear, the result was never going to be much different regardless of the yellow card. Happy with the first performance with our boys,

        Hopefully the Wallabies turn out a victory and a quality performance as well, will be cheering them on!!

        • 7:43pm
          riddler said | 7:43pm | ! Report

          cheers pinetree..

          here is hoping as well..

          fingers toes are crossed!!

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