THE All Blacks’ first test match against the French ended up a farce. Here we had an international side who were the best defensive team in the Northern Hemisphere thumped 52-11.
Forget the yellow card on a French player in the first half. This made little difference in the second where New Zealand ran riot scoring five tries. Yes, the All Blacks should had a couple in the sin bin for supposedly high tackles but the video ref disagreed. You have to admire the young English referee who took the conservative approach with a penalty even if it was wrong. The reality is, France — like England and Ireland who also lost — haven’t got the goods. The French flair is dead. That flair is now coming rom the All Blacks with skill and talent off the bench. Just look what Damian McKenzie did when he came on. He alone embarrassed the French backline. Coach Steve Hansen at this very moment has players to burn which Northern Hemisphere teams dream of.
His only worry is utility back Ben Smith who has suffered a number of head blows; lacking in confidence and not a winger but good enough to remain in his customary fullback position. Jordie Barrett is not up to it. So, what is going to happen in Wellington on Saturday? Very little. France will tighten up but another