All Blacks vs France: International rugby union highlights, blog

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    Match result:

    The All Blacks have beaten the French 26-13 in Wellington in a game that was a real struggle to watch for fans.

    » Click here to read the full match report

    Final score
    All Blacks 26
    France 13

    Match preview:

    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.

    Prediction
    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.

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    The Crowd Says (365)

    The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

    • 1:33pm
      Tooly said | 1:33pm | ! Report

      The laws on challenges to high kicks needs to look at Aussie Rules they do it for a living .
      Barrett jumped off the French player and his fall was his fault .

    • 12:38pm
      abawesome said | 12:38pm | ! Report

      It’s the WB’s and Ireland that are playing with structure, what’s wrong with the AB’s? They need their captain back. Whitelock couldn’t take them aside and fix it. They also need their biggest engine Retallick after the lack of go forward. God forbid after he turned the lions series against us last year, guess i have to forgive and forget but they even need SBW to help bust the midfield.
      Does anyone know what Sam Cane actually does? He’s bulked up to the size of a 6, plays like that but without the mobility of even Squire and doesn’t have the balls skill/ link player ability. Savea is more destructive but doesn’t get himself in the right positions often enough but Matt Todd does and is the most constructive 7 in NZ bit like Ritchie in his rugby smarts

    • 9:40pm
      Rugby Tragic said | 9:40pm | ! Report

    • 7:58pm
      Drongo said | 7:58pm | ! Report

      That game. Yeah. Nah. Oh well, maybe the next one will be ok? Ruined by the red. On a positive note, it was better than any ‘World Series Rugby’ match.

      • 8:05pm
        Rev said | 8:05pm | ! Report

        Agree, i hate how cards can determine matches. I think cards should still take the player out of the game, however the sub should be able to take his place in red card situations.

        • 8:10pm
          Kane said | 8:10pm | ! Report

          I agree with the replacement, maybe a 20min bin as well or at least a 10min bin.

    • Roar Guru

      7:55pm
      Oliver Matthews said | 7:55pm | ! Report

      Match Report
      The All Blacks have beaten the French 26-13 in Wellington in a game that was a real struggle to watch for fans.

      Unfortunately cards will be a key topic spoken about as people review this game but perhaps more than the cards, the All Blacks poor performance and the French pride should be where people focus.

      The French started really well and were on the board first with a penalty goal. They had a buzz about them and while everyone knew the odds were against them, they seemed up for the challenge.

      The Kiwis struck back quickly as Joe Moody went over for a nice try having picked a lovely line to run onto a crisp Aaron Smith pass and the prop ran hard to go over the line unopposed.

      Just as the game was hotting up the French found themselves with a mountain to climb. Their new #15 – Benjamin Fall – went to compete with Beauden Barrett for a high ball but the Frenchman never got up high enough and instead crashed into the All Blacks #10 legs, tipping him over and sending him head first into the ground from height. While the decision of a red card is fair, no one would have complained if it had just been a yellow.

      There were flashbacks to last week where a yellow card gave the All Blacks the chance to score try after try in the second half in Auckland. When Ben Smith scored just a few minutes after this red card the writing was on the wall – just how big was the winning margin going to be?

      But instead two things happened – the French fought hard and scrambled really well for 60 minutes, and the All Blacks played average to poor rugby for 60 minutes.

      Instead of pulling away and taking advantage of the extra space and man, the All Blacks struggled to get any rhythm going. They kicked the ball away far too often, made error after error and in general just forced the play when they needed to play patiently.

      At half time it made sense that the home side would get a quick rollocking from Hansen in the sheds and then come out and blow a tiring French side off the park. But that never happened.

      Yes the All Blacks scored some points and the result was never in doubt but this was a poor, poor performance from them. Discipline was terrible and while the ref did become a bit whistle happy in the second half, the All Blacks made things hard for themselves and even had TJ Perenara sin binned as the team persistently infringed when the French were in the All Blacks 22.

      The French made their own fair share of errors and it was a hard game to watch but the French never stopped trying. Whereas in game one their heads dropped once things started going south, this week their heads stayed up and they took on the challenge with great pride and effort.

      They even had two tries disallowed and managed to score a lovely try in the final minute. When you think about that and the points that could have gone their way this could easily have become a game that went down in rugby history – the day when the All Blacks lost at Wellington to 14 men.

      It’s hard to judge the French players when they had to play for so long with a man down. Bastareaud was better today than he was in game one – he needs to get himself into the games earlier and more consistently as he is a real talisman for the French. Thomas looked good but needs some more space to really unleash his pace and burn the opposition.

      For the All Blacks no one really shone out. McKenzie came on earlier than he would have expected as Beauden Barrett had to go off with a head injury from the red card incident. McKenzie played well with ball in hand and his pace in loose play is a real weapon. He needed to take a bit more control of the All Blacks and when they were struggling to break the French down could have done more to force the French back deep and make them make mistakes.

      Game three could be interesting and let’s hope that there are no cards and we can see these two go at each other for a full 80 minutes. The French will still be massive underdogs but they’ve shown in two games now that they can be a real threat to the All Blacks at times and if the Kiwis have another off day then who knows what could happen.

      It will be an interesting review for Hansen and lots to talk about in the All Blacks camp next week. The usual Kiwi control and ruthlessness was missing in action today and they need to get that back quickly.

    • Roar Rookie

      7:54pm
      JohnnyOnTheSpot said | 7:54pm | ! Report

      That was 100 mins of my life that I cannot get back… Question to the mob … Was it the quality of play, the rules of the game, or the refereeing … Or just the perfect storm of all three?

      Personally I hold the first two and night tests in NZ winter responsible.

      One of the least entertaining rugby games I can remember – and I have seen some seriously bad rugby in my time.

      Somebody help me understand?

      • Roar Guru

        10:05pm
        taylorman said | 10:05pm | ! Report

        I could help, but Im afraid your immaturity probably couldnt handle it.

    • 7:51pm
      Bodger said | 7:51pm | ! Report

      Good on France making a match of it with 14 men against the ABs. ABs very ill-disciplined, plenty of unforced mistakes and scrum looked dodgy, Hansen won’t be happy.

      • Roar Guru

        10:15pm
        taylorman said | 10:15pm | ! Report

        Agree, terrible performance from ABs, French turned out well tonight. Dont think theyre up to winning one regardless of red and I think theyll cop a backlash after Hansen rings in the changes. Naholo deserves a run now. sBW back?

    • 7:46pm
      colvin said | 7:46pm | ! Report

      Such a disappointing match. Too much talk during the week about how we were going to run the French off their feet. I think some of the ABs had been reading too much of their own press. Ben Smith is wasted on the wing.

      • 7:49pm
        riddler said | 7:49pm | ! Report

        ben smith is my favourite all black by a long way i think..

        just a beautiful player to watch..

        and never any drama associated with him ever..

    • 7:36pm
      Cantab said | 7:36pm | ! Report

      Got the bonus point 🙂

    • 7:35pm
      Garth said | 7:35pm | ! Report

      Thanks for the commentary, Oliver. Pity the game was a crappy one. The refs were good, however neither team impressed, with both sides losing possession on a regular basis.

    • 7:35pm
      bluesfan said | 7:35pm | ! Report

      Embarrassing performance from the AB’s.

      McKenzie clearly not an international quality 10 – rather a Super Sub. Heaven help the AB’s if he get’s pulled into a crunch game at the WC early in the game. At the later end of the game, with his speed he can be immense but early in the game with tight defences and a requirement around controlling the game, he does not have the skills.

      Will be interesting to see how the AB’s respond next week/

      Final point = Crotty off for another HNA – really need to ask if he should be playing the game, as this is happening more and more each time he plays – maybe he should consider taking an extended break to get himself right.

      • 7:46pm
        Chinmay Hejmadi said | 7:46pm | ! Report

        I think it was a blood bin this time, wasn’t it?

      • Roar Guru

        7:49pm
        Corne Van Vuuren said | 7:49pm | ! Report

        Remember Beauden Barrett was a super sub for some time, look at him now.

        • 8:01pm
          Blue Balls said | 8:01pm | ! Report

          Beauden was Super Sub for Daniel Carter the best 10 to play the game.

          • Roar Guru

            8:17pm
            Corne Van Vuuren said | 8:17pm | ! Report

            How is it relevant who he super subbed for, apart from learning from Carter?

            Many tout Beauden Barret as the best now

        • 12:02am
          Sylvester said | 12:02am | ! Report

          Difference being BB maintained the quality, rather than dragged it down.

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