In series sweep
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.