In se­ries sweep

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE -

France lost full­back Ben­jamin Fall to a con­tentious red card in the 12th minute, a sanc­tion later scrapped by World Rugby. And in the first game in Auck­land, lock Paul Gabril­lagues was yel­low carded for a tackle that didn’t even de­serve to be con­sid­ered a penalty. So what about the game? It was the best of the se­ries. The French re­ally came to play. Their new mid­field of Wes­ley Fo­fana and Remi Lam­erat were su­perb, adding pace and in­tent to the at­tack, while their for­wards, who must be feel­ing out on their feet af­ter such a long north­ern sea­son, har­ried the New Zealan­ders at every chance.

Guess who the man who killed off the French chances was? McKen­zie. It was his sec­ond try, early in the sec­ond half, that added more pain to the tourists as he used his speed to sweep into a gap and race past flat-footed left wing Gael Fickou.

Af­ter that the All Blacks ran amok. This was a ter­rific re­sult for an All Blacks se­lec­tion that was some­thing of an ex­per­i­ment for coach Steve Hansen – even if France lost the plot with their li­ne­out and faded badly in the sec­ond half.

Young men Shan­non Frizell, Jack Good­hue and Jack­son He­mopo, who came on as a re­place­ment, proved the fu­ture is bright. Lock Scott Bar­rett was one of the best on the park.

The All Blacks also had to over­come dis­rup­tions be­cause of in­juries. Flanker Ardie Savea de­parted early with a sore leg, and mid­fielder Sonny Bill Wil­liams re­treated with a shoul­der prob­lem. But they didn’t miss a beat. Un­like Lacey. PHOTOSPORT PHOTOSPORT

All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane scores one of his three tries against France last night.

Ben Smith scores the All Blacks’ first try.

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