The second international rugby test between New Zealand and France takes place in Wellington on Saturday. The All Blacks were wide margin winners when the teams met last week although it was far from one way traffic over the course of the full 80 minutes.
New Zealand v France, Saturday 16th July, Wellington, KO 09:35 (South African time)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
The first test in Auckland last week saw the All Blacks start in the region of 25.5 point favourites. That quote looked way out at half time when France led 11-8 but the All Blacks scored 44 unanswered points in the second period to give the final scoreboard (52-11) an entirely different complexion.
One of the key moments came early in the second half with the game locked up at 11-11. French lock Paul Gabrillagues was sent to the bin and by the time he returned the All Blacks were well on their way to covering the pre-match handicap. In all New Zealand ran in 8 tries and they have now won each of the last 11 head to heads against the French
For half of last week’s game France threatened a first win over the All Blacks since 2009 when they came out on top 27-22 in Dunedin. The impact of the yellow card early in the second period was enormous and they also conceded 2 tries in the final 6 minutes or so and on the face of it you could say the final score did the efforts of Les Bleus very little justice.
The task now is to pick themselves up for this first meeting with the AB’s in Wellington since they went down 14-10 at this venue back in 2009. Wellington was skipped for a subsequent tour in 2013 which saw France lose all 3 tests, the closest of which was a 23-13 defeat in Auckland.
When touring South Africa in June last year France lost all 3 matches by more than 20 points and they failed to score more than 15 points in any of those fixtures.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock (c), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tuungafasi, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Ngani Laumape
France: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud (c), 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Kelian Gourdon, 7 Kélian Galletier, 6 Mathieu Babillot, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Maxime Médard
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2018 INT Auckland New Zealand 52-11 France (Tries 8-1)
2017 INT Paris France 18-38 New Zealand (Tries 2-5)
2016 INT Paris France 19-24 New Zealand (Tries 1-3)
2015 RWC Cardiff New Zealand 62-13 France (Tries 9-1)
2013 INT Paris France 19-26 New Zealand (Tries 1-2)
2013 INT New Plymouth New Zealand 24-9 France (Tries 2-0)
2013 INT Christchurch New Zealand 30-0 France (Tries 3-0)
2013 INT Auckland New Zealand 23-13 France (Tries 2-1)
2011 RWC Final Auckland New Zealand 8-7 France (Tries 1-1)
New Zealand -28.5 points at 9/10
France +28.5 points at 9/10
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
I put up nothing more than a nibble on the All Blacks to win by 21-30 points inclusive last week, an outcome that had a shout until the late tries. I’m not too enthusiastic about this one either but a repeat of the sort of the effort we saw from France in the first 40 minutes in Auckland last week would bring the +14.5 half time handicap well and truly into the equation.
Bet: 2.5 units, Half time handicap, France +14.5 points at 9/10
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum