All Black win lays foun­da­tion for fu­ture

Otago Daily Times - - SPORT - DANIEL GILHOOLY

LYON: The All Blacks de­feated a rugged French se­lec­tion 28­23 in Lyon yes­ter­day and laid the foun­da­tion for fu­ture suc­cess in the process, ac­cord­ing to coach Steve Hansen.

A hugely in­ex­pe­ri­enced New Zealand team trailed 15­14 at half­time in a phys­i­cal con­test be­fore gain­ing some con­trol soon af­ter the break.

Hansen was de­lighted his team held its nerve as the fi­nal quar­ter de­scended into a testy af­fair and the French scored to close the mar­gin while de­but cen­tre Jack Good­hue was in the sin bin for tak­ing out a sup­port run­ner.

Hansen wanted to as­sess his next wave of tal­ent in an in­ter­na­tional caul­dron and got the acid test he wanted from a com­mit­ted home team.

That a New Zealand side fea­tur­ing nine un­capped play­ers and boast­ing just 150 caps among them clung on could only be pos­i­tive for the fu­ture, he said.

‘‘Ev­ery­one put their hand up. You can go right through the group and I think ev­ery­body did what we asked them to do and en­hanced their rep­u­ta­tions,’’ Hansen said.

‘‘The con­fi­dence that will give some of those guys, you can’t buy.

‘‘Some of these guys may not get their op­por­tu­nity un­til af­ter 2019.’’

Among New Zealand’s best was half­back Taw­era Ker­rBar­low, in pos­si­bly his last game be­fore tak­ing up a French club con­tract.

Hansen said the nuggety Chiefs No 9 would be missed.

‘‘He’s been in out­stand­ing form most of his All Blacks ca­reer, I reckon.

‘‘Do we want him to leave? No. But he’s made that de­ci­sion so then we’ve got to de­cide what we do.’’

Burly flanker Liam Squire shook off the ef­fects of a virus which ruled him out Sun­day’s 38­18 test win over France in Paris and un­leashed a mus­cu­lar dis­play to prove he is ready to face Scot­land in Ed­in­burgh this week­end.

‘‘I thought he was re­ally phys­i­cal and pun­ish­ing with his de­fence,’’ Hansen said.

The All Blacks’ first­half tries were fine team ef­forts, both con­verted from the side­line by first five­eighth Lima Sopoaga.

Squire crossed in the left cor­ner in the 11th minute and Matt Duffie in the right in the 24th, the first All Black try for the for­mer Mel­bourne Storm winger.

Both times, France re­sponded with a try to winger Gabriel Lacroix, the sec­ond a 70m in­ter­cept ef­fort fol­low­ing a long, loose pass from Ngani Laumape.

Play­ing with more pre­ci­sion in the third quar­ter, the vis­it­ing side cre­ated close­range tries to lock Pa­trick Tuip­u­lotu and Laumape to power 28­15 ahead.

The 14­man All Blacks could not stop cen­tre Henry Cha­vancy cross­ing but were able to hold out the pas­sion­ate home team over the fi­nal seven min­utes. — NZN


Matt fin­ish . . . All Black wing Matt Duffie scores his side’s sec­ond try against a French XV in Lyon yes­ter­day.

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