The All Blacks have beaten the French 26-13 in Wellington in a game that was a real struggle to watch for fans.
All Blacks 26
The All Blacks will look to claim the three-match series against France when the two go head to head in Wellington this Saturday. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST.
The All Blacks are unchanged and Hansen will look to his match day squad to put in an even better performance.
After 51 minutes in Auckland last week, the scores were level and the All Blacks had struggled to turn their growing levels of control and pressure into points.
The infamous yellow card broke the French dam and the points flowed freely. Hansen will want to see his team achieve the same end result without the help of the man advantage.
Hooker Codie Taylor was especially impressive last week and will get another chance this week to challenge Owen Franks to the starting No.2 shirt.
Super subs Damian McKenzie and Ngani Laumape were awesome off the bench in the first test and will want to do the same again to make Hansen question whether they deserve a starting spot.
The French have had a tough start to their tour. They feel aggrieved about the yellow card/no yellow card situation in Auckland and the fact that Remy Grosso is out injured with a fractured face has not calmed the frustrations.
There have been accusations of cheating thrown at the Kiwis from the French camp and coach Jacques Brunel will be eager to have his men focus back on what matters.
Brunel mentioned during the week that 70 per cent of the All Blacks’ tries came from only two or three passes and sees it as critical that his men sort out their defensive communication to ensure they don’t leak points so quickly and easily.
He’s made five changes for this game including two new men in the back row – Kelian Galletier and Mathieu Babillot – where he’s hoping that defensive errors can be removed and a solid foundation created for the French team to attack.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that out wide the French have some true weapons – if they can give Teddy Thomas some good ball in space he can carve up even the best defences but he does need that chance to run.
With new full back Benjamin Fall bringing some more attacking flair to the French, the All Blacks will have to kick well otherwise their opponent’s back three will pose a real threat.
The French are up against it here and could easily be on the end of a real hiding. They have to play exceptionally for 80 minutes and that just isn’t going to happen.
New Zealand to win by 20.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 5:35pm AEST on Saturday.