In Summary
  • New Zealand racked up their 2,000th international try and threatened to hand France a sound thrashing before a second half rally limited them to a 38-18 win in Paris on Saturday.
  • Ryan Crotty chalked up the landmark score as four first-half tries — the others from Dane Coles, Waisake Naholo and Sam Cane — gave the All Blacks a 31-5 half-time lead on Armistice Day.
  • Teddy Thomas crossed for France on his return to the fold after a two-year absence while a penalty try helped close the gap before Naholo grabbed his second in the final minute to prevent New Zealand from being kept scoreless after the break.

PARIS

New Zealand racked up their 2,000th international try and threatened to hand France a sound thrashing before a second half rally limited them to a 38-18 win in Paris on Saturday.

Ryan Crotty chalked up the landmark score as four first-half tries — the others from Dane Coles, Waisake Naholo and Sam Cane — gave the All Blacks a 31-5 half-time lead on Armistice Day.

Teddy Thomas crossed for France on his return to the fold after a two-year absence while a penalty try helped close the gap before Naholo grabbed his second in the final minute to prevent New Zealand from being kept scoreless after the break.

Beauden Barrett kicked a perfect six from six from a 13-point personal haul for the visitors.

Despite a spirited second-half fightback from the hosts, there was no masking the gulf in class less than two years out from the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

But after a thoroughly one-sided first half, France's only consolation is that they didn't succumb to a record defeat — their 61-10 reverse in Wellington in 2007 retains that dubious honour.

New Zealand gave notice of their intent on their first possession as a brilliant one-handed offload after contact from Sonny Bill Williams set up a chance on the very next phase for the centre, but he was held up over the line by prop Jefferson Poirot.

From the resulting scrum typically quick passing and a clever line run by Coles saw the hooker go through a gap to score the opening try of the game.

France were struggling to contain New Zealand's rapid brand of running rugby and were frequently scrambling in defence deep inside their own 22.

Barrett kicked a penalty to add to his earlier conversion and after his chip ahead forced France to carry the ball over their own line, New Zealand had a five-metre scrum.

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