Five tries reinforce All Blacks superiority

2011-09-24 11:16

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw celebrated his 100th appearance in an All Black jersey when he led his side to a convincing 37-17 victory over France in an exciting World Cup clash at Eden Park today.

“Its an awesome feeling. I could never have done it without all my teammates and all the support I received from everyone over the years,” he said after he received a special cap for his achievement from former All Black captain Jock Hobbs.

The French started like a house on fire and piled on the pressure in the opening minutes but unfortunately could not convert that pressure into points. Flyhalf Morgan Parra’s attempted drop goal hit the upright, but the French could not capitalise on the favourable bounce.

The All Blacks absorbed the initial pressure well. They did not panic and were rewarded for their resolute defence. They gradually took control after the initial French onslaught.

Eighthman Adam Thompson scored after centre Ma a’ Nono cut the French midfield to shreds. Slick hands by winger Richard Kahui sent Thompson in at the corner. Carter’s conversion was unsuccessful.

The All Black machine then went into overdrive with winger Cory Jane and the fullback Israel Dagg crossing the chalk in quick succession in the 17th and 20th minute respectively. Carter added the extras to give the home team a 19-0 lead after 20 minutes.

All Black sensation Sonny Bill Williams replaced Jane on the wing in the 34th minute. Jane suffered what seemed to be a blow to the head after colliding with his opposite number Maxime Medard.

The French scored their first points just before half time when All Black flanker Jerome Kaino was penalised for elbowing an opponent. Scrumhalf Dimitri Yachvili slotted the penalty to make the halftime score 19-3.

Williams made his presence felt immediately after the break when he unleashed one of his trade mark offloads to put Carter into space before he fed Dagg who crossed over for his second try of the match.

But Les Bleus hit back when French centre Maxime Mermoz scored an intercept try against the run of play when he latched on to a loose pass from Dan Carter. Yachvili converted to make the score 29-10.

However a coolly slotted drop goal by Carter in the 64th minute stretched the home side’s lead to 32-10.

Both coaches decided to ring the changes with All Black scrumhalf Piri Weepu being replaced by Andy Ellis. Ali Williams came on for Sam Whitelock in the second row. Colin Slade came on for Richard Kahui. For France Cedric Heymans came on for Vincent Clerc on the wing while William Servat came on in the place of Dimitri Szarzewski at hooker.

With five minute to go replacement Francois Trinh-Duc scored a consolation try for the French. Yachvili converted to give the scoreline some respectability.

But the All Blacks reinforced their superiority when Williams crashed over for their fifth try of the match.

New Zealand – Tries: Adam Thompson, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg (2), Sonny Bill Williams
Conversions: Daniel Carter (3), Penalty; Carter, Drop goal: Carter.
France – Tries: Maxime Mermoz, Francois Trinh-Duc Conversion: Yachvili (2), Penalty: Dimitri Yachvili 

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