fbpx

All Blacks Claim Series But Without Controversy

Losing shape, conceding penalties, missing more tackles than was comfortable and failing to hold ball all summed up a frustrating All Blacks 26-13 win to claim the Steinlager Series while retaining the Dave Gallaher Trophy over France in Wellington on Saturday.

The game was dominated by the sending off of French fullback Benjamin Fall after 13 minutes and the subsequent failure to take advantage will have the Al Blacks facing a tough week in preparation for the third Test in Dunedin.

It was the second consecutive Test in Wellington where a player had been ordered off, Sonny Bill Williams having suffered the same fate against the British & Irish Lions last year.

But rather than sink the French, it lifted their resolve and while tryless until injury time when replacement prop Gomes Sa was on the end of a sweeping movement, they won plenty of admiration for their effort in refusing to bow down.

Fall was sent off for his dangerous challenge on All Blacks first five-eighths Beauden Barrett when he was contesting a high ball. Fall didn’t leave the ground while Barrett was knocked and fell on his head.

After checking the video evidence referee Angus Gardiner dismissed the Frenchman. The incident resulted in Barrett failing an HIA with Damian McKenzie replacing him.

From the penalty resulting from the incident the All Blacks kicked for a lineout and in the resulting play they moved the ball around and from a midfield ruck, halfback Aaron Smith found prop Joe Moody running towards him on a sharp angle.

The prop took the ball and advantage of a big gap close to the ruck to run in from 25m for the opening try.

Soon after a long range downfield kick by fullback Jordie Barrett landed close to the corner flag and the French botched a long throw which was taken by New Zealand. McKenzie ran to the line and while the All Blacks’ clearance was untidy, wing Ben Smith was on hand to seize control, cut back against the tide and race through unopposed to score.

France were competitive by utilising their changed loose forward combination. Openside flanker Kelian Galletier, whose fine midfield break should have created a try for second five-eighths Geoffrey Doumayrou but he lost the ball on the line, blindside flanker Mathieu Babbilot and No.8 Kevin Gourdon got among the All Blacks forwards and upset their flow. Big tighthead prop Uini Atonio was strong on the charge with the ball in hand.

First five-eighths Anthony Belleau took early gaps but was more restrained after the loss of Fall. The French cause was not helped by more lineout woes in the first half.

 

Near the end of the half prop Owen Franks had to be replaced when struggling with an injury by Ofa Tuungafasi.

There were some communication breakdowns among the All Blacks’ backs but just before the halftime break they demonstrated the danger for the French. Barrett fielded a Parra clearing kick just out from the All Blacks 22m area. His long infield pass found McKenzie.

He linked with wing Rieko Ioane, who carred the ball left, attracting two defenders but still able to pass inside. Centre Anton Lienert-Brown took play back infield with a good break and then found Barrett in support inside and he scored beneath the posts.

Multiple changes were made to the All Blacks early in the second half with a rare chance for substitutes to get game time in a competitive situation and while it took 16 minutes to gel with the French applying pressure in the All Blacks’ quarter, the transformation eventually emerged, albeit briefly.

The All Blacks mounted a rolling lineout maul which produced ball to Crotty at stand-off to feed McKenzie on the double round. He raced into space and found halfback TJ Perenara in support. He was dragged down just short but the ruck ball saw McKenzie back in the action to weight a perfect pass to Barrett for his second try.

More woes for New Zealand saw replacement halfback TJ Perenara sin-binned for playing the ball on the wrong side of a tackle in the All Blacks’ 22m area.

Another French try scoring chance was lost when replacement hooker Pierre Bourgarit picked the ball off the back of an All Blacks’ lineout movement and charged through to the line. He was tackled by Ben Smith and ruled to have got up on his knees to have propelled himself forward ruling the try out.

However, France got their reward when Sa capitalised on some fine work by Gourdon to give the tourists another boost before they face each other again in Dunedin next week.

Scorers: New Zealand 26 (Joe Moody, Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett 2 tries; Damian McKenzie 3 con) France 13 (Gomes Sa try; Morgan Parra 2 pen; Jules Plisson con). HT: 21-6

Source: allblacks.com

Rugby Southland Statement on Club Rugby Covid-19 Implications
Covid-19, News
281 views
Covid-19, News
281 views

Rugby Southland Statement on Club Rugby Covid-19 Implications

Southland Sports News - Aug 13, 2020

Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 situation and an elevation to Alert Level 2 severely impacts the delivery of community…

Female Presidents Share Common Ground
News, Southland
179 views
News, Southland
179 views

Female Presidents Share Common Ground

Southland Sports News - Aug 13, 2020

Of the ten football clubs in Southland three currently have female Presidents and each of them share common ground. All…

Frew Keen For An ANZ Premiership Sellout
News, Southland
171 views
News, Southland
171 views

Frew Keen For An ANZ Premiership Sellout

Southland Sports News - Aug 13, 2020

Southern netball legend Wendy Frew still gets goosebumps when she recalls the thrill of playing to a packed house of…

Golf Southland News
News, Sports
101 views
News, Sports
101 views

Golf Southland News

Southland Sports News - Aug 13, 2020

MLT Presidents Pennants Six teams will contest the MLT Presidents Pennants competition this year, which tees off on Saturday 22…

Get Ready To Pack the Park
Community, News
1339 views
Community, News
1339 views

Get Ready To Pack the Park

Southland Sports News - Aug 11, 2020

The Southland Charity Hospital is by the community, for the community: and it is set to bring something pretty special…