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|Home team||Away Team|
||37 - 17||
80 French reclaim the restart, but turn the ball over.smith away - final play of the game here. Woodcock gets a rare carry... but the all Balcks off their feet in support. Yachvili puts it to touch and ends the French misery. New Zealand rampant at times, but they have a little injury list brewing... is there a conditioning issue? France fought gamely, but really, their only scores were an intercept and a peculiar tap and go which we reckon ought not to have counted. It stays a north v south World Cup, with New Zealand now likely to meet Argentina in the quarter-finals and France set to face England. Cheers from Auckland! FULL-TIME: NEW ZEALAND 37-17 FRANCE!
77 Well, whatever! Williams reclaims the restart and ofloads to slade. Slade is brought down 5m short, back the ball comes all the way to the right to Smith, who gives a fabulous passto Sonny Bill and in at the corner. TRY NEW ZEALAND! No conversion though.
76 Yachvili lands the extras, 32-17 doesn't look all that bad!
75 Another French penalty at the scrum, alain Rolland gives a stiff warning here, the French predictably go for another scrum, after trying to sneak a tap before Rolland had finished speaking... or... huh? It's a TRY FRANCE! How bizarre! Surely there was no mark or indicator time was on?
74 Dagg's another one limping, and he has to stay on as there areno more back subs! France win a penalty at the scrum and go for another scrum. This is quite an interesting end: the ABs are playing at high pace but look a little out of juice at the end here.
71 French maul driving for the line, Servat has it... but it's held up!
70 All getting alittle scrappy now, turnovers galore and a couple of nothing kicks, but bigger news might be the health of Adam Thomson, who is down and looking in a rough way. the French are bashing it hard - and there's a fair few AB players nursing knocks at the moment. McCaw is another.... the ABs are running out of back row!
69 wow - the french take the scrum againt the head! Yachvili hits it downfield, dagg clears. One small note: we wondered why Carter landed the drop goal asit's not really AB culture, but it takes New Zealand more than three scores clear on the scoreboard at 32-10. Good thinking - T-CUP clive Woodward would call it.
67 France building nicely here, one side to another and there's space on the right, quick hands are good, but the final ball is forced and just a shade forward... a shame, that would have been a fabulous try.
65 Trinh-Duc (hereafter known as TD) is on for Parra. First thing he does is send his restart scurrying scruffily downfield.
64 Picks and goes from New Zealand now; they have definitely slowed down, but they started the game at a blistering pace. Carter hits a drop goal! Over!! DROP GOAL FRANCE!
62 Woodcock again pinged at the scrum! Surely there might be a change there soon. Meantime, Slade is on for Kahui, who is limping to the touchline.
61 Nonu loses the ball midfield in contact - just a few errors creeping in. Perhaps we're being hyper-critical, New Zealand have only made five handling errors, but it took them 34 minutes to make one!
59 Penalty France at the scrum - there's been a slight drop in intensity from New zealand in this half, you feel. but with France pressing, Kaino makes a huge hit on Dusautoir and Yachvili strays offside.
58 They're a bit quieter now as Kahui and Carter steam away down the left and only an inexplicable spill from Ellis saves a try.
57 Ellis and Hore on for New Zealand, with the french now looking a tad more rabid at the rucks. Incredible what tonic a try can be. the fans are even singing La Larseillaise!
56 Yachvili's knocked over the extras. 29-10 - looks a touch more respectable now.
55 Carter looking for space inside and it's picked off by Mermoz! The centre hares away to the corner and France have the tiniest of lifelines! TRY FRANCE!
54 Willy Servat coming on at hooker for France... interesting to see that before the hour mark, two of Lievremont's three most contentious decisions have been reversed. Not one of them has worked out.
52 Penalty France at the scrum! a rare victory for the French pack.
50 Clean break by Williams, with Nonu and Kahui taking it now from one 22 to the other. Inside it comes, ball close to the line and New Zealand get the penalty. McCaw opts for the scrum, which is reset.
49 Tactical note: As dagg puts through another deep grubber central, it's worth noting these have caused the French problems all day. They spend less time out of hand so the French find it harder to retreat and help at the breakdown, while the bouncing ball make sit harder for the full-backs to deal with them, so the result is a better territorial gain and/or turnover...
47 Carter gets thre three points from 40m out. PENALTY NEW ZEALAND, 29-3!
45 Great scrum by New Zealand, but Yachvili disruptsthe back of it and the ball is turned over. Out to Szarzewski who spills it in midfield. New zealand win a penalty at the scrum - their scrum is very much in the ascendancy at the moment too.
44 Well, France reclaimed the restart, passed out to midfield and Parra knocks on... the stuffing looks out of them now.
42 Carter chips over the conversion. 26-3 - no way back for France now. But how bad might it get?
41 SECOND HALF: another miracle? We've got 40 minutes to see what the French can do from here. Barcella is on at tighthead, Harinordoquy at blindside and Heymans on the wing for the French in some big half-time changes. Sonny Bill hits the line, offloads to Carter and he's away! Into the french 22, out the ball comes, Nonu flips it wide, another ruck, Weepu out to Dagg, who skips inside Harinordoquy and scores. Game over . TRY NEW ZEALAND
40 HALF-TIME, NEW ZEALAND 19-3 FRANCE. New Zealand attack one more time from the restart, and Carter's clever kick has Williams on the chase, out it goes to Kahui, then to McCaw... he's been penalised! The 100th cap sullied. Yachvili kicks to touch. New Zealand 19-3 to the good and looking in fine fettle. BUT... France have had some good passages, it was this kind of gap the French had to bounce back from in '99... they can only hope for the same kind of miracle performance in the second half now. See you in ten.
39 PENALTY FRANCE! Yachvili makesno mistake - even if he milked the arm from kaino a bit, he's made no friends from the big-screen replay!
38 Picamoles takes it off the scrum and rumbles, then gets it two phases later and makes more good yards... he and Yachvili have been outstanding for the French. Another turnover midfield though - there are too many of those again, but Kaino is caught holding Yachvili back and France might get some points with the last kick of the half...
36 Dagg bursts clear! But it's a forward pass from Carter... nearly the bonus point!
35 Thorn clatters into Szarzewski and the hooker is KO - Rolland stops the game immediately. so we've got a moment to share a stat with you: the french have spent six minutes of possession in the AB 22, the ABs just one in France's. This New Zealand attack is just deadly.
33 The French scrum has just been monstered... and then aerial view on our monitor shows loosehead Poux boring in on Franks, costing the french their shove. Picamolessaves the day, then Rougerie and Medard drivethe ball into the NZ22, but Medard is pinged for holding on and he's livid with the decision too. Sonny Bill is on for Cory Jane.
31 Whew! You can barely draw breath after that passage of play. a quick NZ line-out, a clearance downfield, another French counter-attack, huge hit in midfield by Thorn on Medard, another long kick to the corner from Yachvili... and now we break! It's a thrilling game, if only it were closer.
29 ABs building a litttle more patiently now, but Parra backs off Carter and fractures the defensive line, so Dagg uses his pace to burst through. But the ball is lost! And France countering from their own 22 - here comes some endeavour! Yachvili chips a peach to the corner!
27 Nothing doing. France penalised as the ball goes into midfield for the same indiscretion and Carter clears into French territory...
26 France get a rare penalty now for holding on at the ruck... Traille puts it midway into the AB half, france have to get something here, any kind of attacking points, just to give them some sort of impetus.
25 as our internet connection in auckland flickers for a second, we can tell you there were no more tries in the past three minutes, but as a sign of how rattled the French are, Parra's restart does not even vaguely go ten. and then New Zealand win a free-kick at the scrum. France's mental toughness is taking a hammering.
22 Carter takesthe extras in front of the posts. 19-0 - remember in 1999, France came back from further behind though.
21 New Zealand from the line-out, go wide to Nonu, back in the middle with Kaino. Out to Carter, who steps Ducalcon by the fringes and is clean through! Inside pass to Dagg and it's another TRY NEW ZEALAND! They're shredding them now!
20 restart cleared, Picamoles runs it back and ghosts through Dagg. Picamoles looks for the offload but sees only black jerseys and then the French are pinged for going off their feet.
18 This time Carter nails the conversion... 12-0 now looks ominous for France.
17 Pre-rehearsed move off an AB line-out too and Jane is clean through! Looping round, fends off Medard and scampers home! TRY NEW ZEALAND! They're scoring every time they have the ball!
16 French run a pre-rehrased move from a line-out, but Kahui reads it and makes a monster tackle on Clerc, with three others following up with a textbook counter-ruck. Carter clears - France look good with the ball close in, but New zealand are tearing it up wide.
14 In the space of a minute, both Parra and Yachvili have kicks charged down! Neither comes to much, but Rougerie's clearance hits an AB hand too and had the ball not spun into touch, Bonnaire might have been away!
13 New Zealand looking extremely accomplished in defence, and it's defninitely the difference between the teams. Parra given no space, kicks down the sideline and Carter returns a beauty with interest.
11 Carter scuffs off the conversion to the left, so it's 5-0. Marc Lievremeont, off to my left, is seething.
10 New Zealand working magic here, quick ball, a wrap-around move to Nonu and he cuts inside and streaks clear! Steps one, steps again, hauled down by Clerc 5m short, quick ball out to Carter, wonderful hands! Thomson is in at the corner! TRY NEW ZEALAND! France have made all the running, and they've been sucker-punched!
9 Penalty All Blacks at the scrum... Franks put big pressure on Szarzewski, causing a pop-up.
8 Nice little loop off the back of the ruck and out it goes to Mermoz, who dances inside Nonu with nobody covering inside! Mermoz scorches into the 22, is tackled... France scrum, and to be honest, they could have had a penalty there as Dagg looked off his feet.
7 New zealand scrum, it goes down once - a suspicion of an early drive from the ABs there... reset is given a HUGE drive by the French, who are getting the upper hand so far. McCaw takes it off the back and Weepu clears.
6 France attack again with forwards, then Rougerie drives in, a switch of direction takes it out to Dusautoir who nearly is home, back it comes, Parra kicks wide! Traille and Jane going for it... OOF! That's a heavy mid-air collision, Nonu clears... and both players down for treatment here.
4 Bonnaire takes it, a little drive and France working the phases here, nallet and szarzewski drive it on, Parra for the drop goal.... off the post! Pape nearly cuaght the rebound, but instead it's Nonu counteing, Carter kicks long to space, cleaned up by Rougerie, back to Parra who kicks downfield... and Carter spills it! France looking the beter so far!
2 First clean break! It's Parra on a great angle, tearing away, then chips it... and runs stupdly into Nonu looking for a penalty. Nothing comes, but dagg slices the clearance and France have a lineout in the NZ 22.
0 And we're off! Parra hoists a sweet kick-off into the Auckland air! Kainotakes it deep, and takes it out of the 22, Dagg clears downfield. Picamoles bringing it back, Parra gets an early welcome to the game before putting up a bomb... both teams keeping the ball in play.
Anthems The choir pulled out all the stops for these two... and that's a monster of a kapa o pango haka! And now the tracksuits are off and we're up to it! Alain Rolland's checking his details, players are twitching in readiness... whistle in the mouth, finger on the stopwatch button...
Atmosphere 15 minutes! But everybody's in the ground already; there's no scurrying around for last-second beers here. It's electric! It's a perfect night for rugby too, about 13 degrees, slight breeze to cool the sweat but not enough to blow the ball. There's no shortage of Frenchies in the ground either; this is already a spectacle for those of us lucky enough to be here, let's hope the game lives up to billing!
Team news France 'Second string!' cried the New Zealand media, clearly with one eye on the fact that the winners of this one get the half of the draw containing Australia and South Africa as a reward. But it isn't second string as such... yet the omission of Imanol Harinordoquy is an eyebrow-raiser, as is the demotion of the experienced William Servat to the bench. All those pale into mere quibbles compared to the use of featherwight Morgan Parra at fly-half though. While it's true the French have clicked best in matches with him there, it's an experminet only ever used in the final 20 minutes against lesser teams. For a full 80 against New Zealand is a different matter entirely... at the end of this 80 minutes Marc Lievremont will either be legend or lame duck.
Team news New Zealand There's little doubt Graham Henry has gone with form in the backs, with Richard Kahui's consistent scoring excellence rewarded on the left wing, and Israel Dagg providing more spark at full back. Up front it's a little more predictable, with Richie McCaw winning his 100th cap and leading a familiar-looking pack. Adam Thomson at eight is an interesting choice: he's been a bit of a penalty liability at flanker, but at eight we might see the best ofhis linking and running game without that penalty monkey on his back.
0 Welcome to Eden Park for the big one! Ever since the draw was made, the rugby world has been waiting to see: can New Zealand beat France in a World Cup match other than the final (or the third place playoff)? 1999 the French caused the upset with that second-half performance at Twickenham. 2007 and the French did it again with that forward pass in Cardiff (and a monumental defensive display). 2011 and we're in New Zealand, with New Zealand once again overwhelming favourites, with form on their side and a huge partisan crowd at their backs, and once again against France. Surely not another shock. Surely. Surely? An electric atmosphere already and there's only a few hundred in the ground... you can hear the songs outside it. It's going to be a huge evening!
|Friday 2nd May|
|19:45||Bath vs Northampton|
|Saturday 3rd May|
|15:00||Saracens vs Worcester|
|15:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Gloucester vs London Irish|
|15:15||Sale vs Leicester|
|Sunday 4th May|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 10th May|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|15:15||Worcester vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:15||London Irish vs Sale|
|Sunday 20th April|
|Newcastle 18 - 23 Saracens|
|Northampton 36 - 21 London Irish|
|Saturday 19th April|
|Wasps 38 - 30 Gloucester|
|Bath 32 - 20 Worcester|
|Exeter 12 - 55 Sale|
|Friday 18th April|
|Harlequins 24 - 20 Leicester|
|Sunday 13th April|
|London Irish 40 - 12 Newcastle|
|Saracens 28 - 24 Northampton|
|Saturday 12th April|
|Gloucester 17 - 18 Bath|
|Worcester 33 - 38 Exeter|
|Leicester 27 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 11th April|
|Sale Sharks 12 - 27 Harlequins|
|Sunday 30th March|
|Newcastle 12 - 17 Worcester|
|Saturday 29th March|
|Northampton 16 - 22 Leicester|
|Wasps 20 - 32 Saracens|
|Exeter 13 - 14 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 23 - 9 London Irish|
|Friday 28th March|
|Bath 11 - 12 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 23rd March|
|Leicester 45 - 15 Exeter|
|Saturday 22nd March|
|London Irish 23 - 44 Bath|
|Saracens 39 - 17 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 40 - 33 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 19 - 6 Northampton|
|Friday 21st March|
|Worcester 11 - 13 Wasps|
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