All Blacks whitewash France

2013-06-22 11:42
Rene Ranger (AP Photo)

New Plymouth - New Zealand flyhalf Daniel Carter kicked 14 points as the All Blacks ground out a flattering 24-9 victory over France in New Plymouth on Saturday to complete a 3-0 series sweep.

The All Blacks, near perfect in their 30-0 win in Christchurch a week ago, lacked the same level of execution against a fired-up France, who were let down in the final 10 minutes when lock Yoann Maestri was sin-binned for an apparent head butt.

Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett added tries for the home side, who won the first match 23-13 in Eden Park, while France scrumhalf Jean-Marc Doussain slotted two penalties and centre Florian Fritz added a dropgoal.

Neither side were able to stamp any authority on the game with the All Blacks attempting to revert to a high-tempo style with quick ball and runners wide of the ruck to stretch the defence.

France, however, showed a greater intensity than they had in the last two weeks and were unlucky not to have held the halftime lead after some wayward goalkicking by Doussain, who missed two penalties.

The visitors had taken an eighth-minute lead when Fritz landed a dropgoal, only for Carter to level the scores with a penalty eight minutes later.

Doussain and Carter then combined to miss three penalties before the All Blacks finally broke down a resilient French defensive line when Smith was put into space by fullback Israel Dagg, who drifted across field and cut out three defenders with a long pass that allowed the winger to slide over.

Doussain was finally successful with his third penalty attempt, though the ball ricocheted over the crossbar off an upright to ensure they went into the interval trailing 8-6.

The French scumhalf gave his side the lead shortly after the break before Carter added three second half penalties before replacement Barrett, playing on his home ground, scored a last-minute try on the counter following some superb work by Smith.

The All Blacks next play Australia in their first test of the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship in Sydney on Aug. 17, while France host New Zealand in Paris on Nov. 9.


New Zealand - Tries: Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett; Conversion: Daniel Carter; Penalties: Carter (4);

France - Penalties: Jean-Marc Doussain (2); Drop goal: Florian Fritz

Read more on:    new zealand  |  france  |  rugby

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