The world champions destroyed France 62-13 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday; this was by far the best performance of any team in the tournament to date- the All Blacks, who scored nine tries, have now beaten Les Bleus nine times in a row.

 

The French, who were having a national humiliation, had hoped to reverse the pattern of history from their World Cup quarter- finals losses against the All Blacks in 1999 and 2007, as well as the 2011 final, when they lost 8 -7.

 

However, the Gallic Rooster’s hopes evaporated soon after the start of the match; New Zealand commenced in style, as Dan Carter scored three points in the ninth minute, after Thierry Dusautoir was punished for holding on to Aaron Smith’s legs.

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France equalised two minutes later, with their full-back Scott Spedding scoring a penalty, before Brodie Retallick touched over for New Zealand's first try. The next try for the All Blacks came from Nehe Milner-Skudder, who, so far, performed brilliantly in the tournament.

 

A try by French number eight Louis Picamoles had kept Les Bleus in the contest, but when New Zealand winger Julian Savea scored a brace of tries, to build up a comprehensive lead 29-13 by half time, France looked doomed.

 

At the beginning of the second half, Picamoles was punished for a punch to New Zealand captain Richie McCaw’s face, and he was sin-binned; this was a begging of the French mutiny.

 

The 25 year-old Savea completed the match with a hat-trick of tries, a staggering 38 tries in 39 Tests. There were also tries from Jerome Kaino and Kieran Read and two tries from Tawera Kerr-Barlow, to complete the All Blacks 62-13 victory.

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They will now play the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday 24th October at Twickenham.

As for the French, they will need to rethink their country's #Rugby philosophy. It was sad to see Les Bleus so heavily defeated, but what happened on Saturday strengthens the belief that the French Top 14 club competition is considered to be more important than the national team. Plenty to think about!