New Zealand humiliate France 62-13 in repeat of 2011 final in quarter-final
WELLINGTON: The All Blacks briefly acknowledged their sublime 62-13 elimination of France from the Rugby World Cup and then immediately began plotting the downfall of South Africa in the semi-finals next week.
They rated the nine-try assault on France on Saturday as one of their best performances in recent years. But coach Steve Hansen said the defending champions will have to be even better in the semis.
A hat-trick of tries by Julian Savea and a swift moving game directed by Dan Carter put the All Blacks a step closer to their aim of being the first side to win back-to-back World Cups.
The jitters evident in pool games were gone at Cardiff’s packed Millennium Stadium and the mood in the All Blacks camp was they could not afford to let the errors return.
“It was one of the best team performances I’ve seen for a while,” said assistant coach Ian Foster, crediting the All Blacks superior forward power for the way the backs were able to run riot. “We got a lot of quick ball, a lot of quality ball and the interchange between backs and forwards was excellent. To me it was more about the team effort and getting the components right and the team looked good.”
In a domineering 80 minutes they humiliated France but captain Richie McCaw said the score was irrelevant. “It doesn’t matter by how much,” he said of the All Blacks record score against France, and the record score for any World Cup knockout game. “All we’ve done is earn a chance to play in a semi-final. What happened we’re happy with but come Monday we’ve got to go back and start again because there will be three other teams with that same attitude.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.
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