Sweet revenge for All Blacks
New Zealand gave a massive statement of intent as they avenged their previous World Cup upsets with a 37-17 demolition of France.
Last Updated: 24/09/11 2:42pm
New Zealand gave a massive statement of intent as they avenged their previous World Cup upsets against France with a 37-17 demolition at Eden Park.
The All Blacks were simply ruthless as they ripped France apart to secure their place in the quarter-finals - with the manner of the victory likely to strike fear into the hearts of their rivals for the Webb Ellis Trophy
Having overcome an electric opening barrage from France, they quickly took the game away from the Les Bleus - with Adam Thomson, Cory Jane, Israel Dagg (2) and Sonny Bill Williams scoring tries and Dan Carter adding 12 points.
Dimitri Yachvili slotted over seven points for France and Maxime Mermoz and Francois Trinh-Duc crossed for consolation tries but that was as good as it got after they failed to build on a dominant display in the opening 10 minutes.
Parra went close after three minutes with a drop-goal attempt that rebound off the post but Louis Picamoles just couldn't gather
Damien Traille then almost went over in the corner two minutes later from Dimitri Yachvili's cross-field kick but he and Cory Jane collided in mid-air and the ball rolled loose.
However having repelled Les Bleus for the opening 10 minutes, New Zealand scored on their first foray into the French half. Ma'a Nonu stormed through the heart of the French defence and although he was hauled down short, quick hands found Thomson free on the left.
And worse was to come from France on 17 minutes as a beautifully worked move released Jane, who rounded Maxime Medard with ease to score. Carter converted.
It was 19-0 on 21 minutes as Carter made the most of poor tackling to set away the supporting Dagg for the third try - with the All Blacks fly-half tagging on the extras.
Yachvili finally got France onto the scoreboard with a penalty just before the interval after Morgan Parra had been taken out off the ball by Jerome Kaino.
But hopes of a French fightback after the break vanished in the space of 54 seconds as Dagg crossed for his second.
Carter converted and further extended New Zealand's lead with a penalty.
New Zealand were made to pay for being too adventurous on 54 minutes when Mermoz snaffled an interception try off of Carter's pass. Yachvili converted to cut the deficit to 19 points.
Carter slotted over a drop-goal to keep New Zealand out of sight but Trinh-Duc crashed over for an opportunistic try late on from a quickly taken tap penalty. Yachvili converted.
However the All Blacks responded immediately, with quick hands freeing Williams to score in the corner.