Rugby Championship

Ioane hat-trick helps All Blacks destroy France

2018-06-23 11:21
Rieko Ioane (Getty)

Dunedin - Rieko Ioane scored a dazzling second half hat-trick as New Zealand punished France 49-14 to complete a clean sweep of their three-Test series in Dunedin on Saturday.

There were nine tries, seven for the All Blacks - including three to Ioane and two to Damian McKenzie - and two for France as both sides relished the freedom to attack on a firm surface in the enclosed Dunedin stadium.

McKenzie converted all the All Blacks' tries to finish with a match haul of 24 points, while Ioane took his try haul to 16 from 16 Tests.

It rounded off a torrid tour for France, who were dismembered 52-11 in the first Test and gallantly went down 26-13 in the second, following an early red card which was rescinded after the game.

Despite mass changes in the All Blacks team, quick feet and outrageous offloads produced a helter-skelter game in which France were competitive for the first half-hour when the scores were tied 14-14.

But after McKenzie's first try - helped by referee John Lacey, who accidentally impeded Baptiste Serin - the All Blacks led 21-14 at the turn, and France were unable to find a way back.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was vindicated in his decision to make 10 changes and blood four new Test players, with next year's World Cup in mind.

His aim was to build depth and the match-day 23 included only six players who featured in the quarter-final win over France in the World Cup three years ago.

But it was France who made the blitz start stand-in captain Morgan Parra had called for, after a well-timed intercept by Kelian Galletier took Les Bleus deep into New Zealand territory.

Parra went off with a head knock as France repeatedly pounded the line until his replacement scrum-half, Serin, dummied his way over the line.

However, the All Blacks fired back with two quick tries. 

The first was to fullback Ben Smith, after turning down a shot at goal in favour of a lineout, and the second went to Matt Todd from a lineout drive. 

France replied with a well-taken try to Wesley Fofana as they dominated possession, and the powerful work of Galletier and Kevin Gourdon allowed the Fofana and Remi Lamerat partnership to get in behind the All Blacks backline.

It took New Zealand's new-look backline until the second half to achieve the same penetration, with McKenzie scoring his second try five minutes after the restart. 

Despite McKenzie's points tally, he had a mixed game in his first-start at flyhalf. He had problems with his tactical kicking and passing but when he ran, his acceleration and body swerve baffled the French.


New Zealand

Tries: Ben Smith, Matt Todd, Damian McKenzie (2), Rieko Ioane (3)

Conversions: Damian McKenzie (7)


Tries:  Baptiste Serin, Wesley Fofana

Conversions: Anthony Belleau (2)


New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock (captain), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Jordie Barrett


15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Morgan Parra (captain), 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Dany Priso

Substitutes: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Felix Lambey, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Maxime Medard

Read more on:    france  |  all blacks  |  damian mckenzie  |  rieko ioane  |  rugby

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