SAVEA STORMS THE BASTILLE

NZ Rugby World - - Editor's Top 10 -

The sense of déjà vu was un­de­ni­able. The All Blacks, eight years af­ter they played and lost to France in a World Cup quar­ter­fi­nal in Cardi , had to play France in a World Cup quar­ter­fi­nal in Cardi .

The ghosts of their past were ev­ery­where and no one could think about the game in 2015 with­out dredg­ing up mem­o­ries of 2007.

It didn’t take long, though, once the game had kicked o for 2007 to be­come a dis­tant mem­ory. The All Blacks came out hard and fast and blitzed the French.

They were ruth­less and dy­namic and they scored nine tries. They had been work­ing up to a per­for­mance like that af­ter de­lib­er­ately keep­ing much of their game­plan hid­den in the pool rounds.

Of the nine tries they scored, it was one by Ju­lian Savea that stood out the most. The big wing ram­paged down the left, shov­ing o de­fend­ers with his power, bounc­ing through three be­fore touch­ing down.

It was a try that en­cap­su­lated the gulf be­tween the All Blacks and France, with the lat­ter be­ing booed o the park at the end of the game.

“It was a pretty spe­cial per­for­mance,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

“When you come to the World Cup you come with a plan and it’s been ques­tioned by a few peo­ple, but the key peo­ple who didn’t ques­tion it are the ones in the group.”

RAW POWER Ju­lian Savea gave his best Jonah Lomu im­pres­sion in Cardi 2015.

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