Monday, June 04, 2007

Random news (tvnz)

All Blacks dominate gallant French

Jun 2, 2007
by Michael Burgess

The All Blacks completed a 42-11 win over a gallant French team in Auckland on Saturday night.
The New Zealand team scored five tries to one in a patchy performance that will give coach Graham Henry plenty to work on in the coming weeks.
It was the All Blacks 50th test win in Auckland but a far from memorable performance with unforced errors and missed tackles clouding some slick moments on attack.
The home side enjoyed a massive 77% of terrority and a huge possession advantage but came up against stubborn French defence.

The men in black led 20-3 at halftime but the main focus was on injuries to megastars Daniel Carter and Richie Mc Caw. The duo did not return for the second half.
The forwards toiled hard and performed well at scrum time but will only receive a pass mark for their lineout work.
The New Zealand backline looked rusty and managed to squander several good opportunities with inaccurate passing and handling.
The French were completely overwhelmed at ruck and maul time but showed great heart and will feel justifiably aggrieved with several key refereeing decisions which favoured the home side.

An early Ali Williams break should have lead to the first try but Leon McDonald delayed the pass where an early transfer would have seen returning winger Joe Rokocoko in at the corner.
From a rather fortuitous penalty where referee Stuart Dickinson played an bizarrely short advantage (a portent of things to come from the officials ) Daniel Carter converted the penalty for the first points.

There was an early injury scare with Carter being caught awkwardly in a tackle. Weepu took over the goalkicking and the Carter did not return for the second half..
Weepu and Boyet exchanged long range penalties and after several near misses the home side scored a lovely try beside the posts on the half hour mark. A beautiful no-look pass from an under pressure Carter to a rampaging Rokocoko split the French before quick hands from Toeava saw Mauger dive over.

It was a scrappy first half though with neither side able to put together more than five phases of possession.
There were lineout problems as the French disrupted the All Blacks jumpers, despite the home side using the safer option of throws to the front.
Just before the break a clever Carter chip kick ended in Sivivatu grounding the ball in the corner.

The video referee, after considering numerous replays awarded a very dubious try which crowned a luckless half for the French and an ordinary game for the officials.
Richie Mc Caw (bruised hip) and Daniel Carter (ankle) limped out of the game at halftime and were replaced by Nick Evans and Rodney So'oialo.
Evans kicked an early second half penalty before Boyet replied in kind for the French after a Ali Willaims high tackle.

The French first five was harshly sinbinned soon afterwards as Weepu took a quick penalty tap close to the French line.
Toeva made a mess of the grounding of a lovely Evans chip, but soon afterwards Sivivatu went over in the corner after the All Blacks overpowered the French scrum on the five metre line. The final pass from Evans, while being cleverly tipped on, looked forward. Evans missed the sideline conversion

From their first real concerted attack, the 14 man French team scored one of the best tries of the night. Left winger Coux dotted down after a clever kick from Magne.
The All Blacks responded quickly, with recalled winger Rokocoko showing real vision to put Mauger in a hole on the 10m line and the Crusader second five was able to sprint away for his second try.

Brendon Leonard replaced Weepu after 63 minutes and just failed to reel in a pass after a Rokocoko burst away from a scrum that would have made an extra special debut.
So'aolo capped a strong second half cameo performance to wriggle over from five metres after a schoolboy mistake from the French following a mark.
The expected Black onslaught in the last ten minutes never eventuated as the French hung on bravely and the home team made some fairly elementary errors.

Eden Park at times resembled a casualty ward as the European side didn't have enough medical staff to cover all the players down on the ground.
Late flurries saw Nonu and Rokocoko go close but the 30 point margin was a fair reflection of a dominant but far from fine tuned All Black performance.

New Zealand 42: Tries: - Aaron Mauger (2), Sitiveni Sivivatu (2), Rodney So'oialo; Conversions: Nick Evans (2), Piri Weepu, Dan Carter; Penalties: Carter, Weepu, Evans.

France 11: Try: Jean-Francois Coux; Penalties: Benjamin Boyet (2).
France upbeat despite heavy loss

Jun 3, 2007

France coach Bernard Laporte was full of praise for his young team despite their comprehensive 42-11 loss to New Zealand in the first test at Eden Park on Saturday.

The odds were heavily stacked against the French after they had to field an under-strength team because most of their senior players stayed home to play for their clubs.

They only arrived in New Zealand four days before the match and started the game with six debutants but were far from disgraced even though they never threatened to win.
"They were very courageous. OK, it was 42-11 but everybody played very well," Laporte (picture from the test match in November in Lyon) told a news conference.

Starved of possession and forced to defend for the most of the game, France conceded five tries but picked up a consolation try late in the second half by new winger Jean-Francois Coux.

The All Blacks squandered a string of other tryscoring chances with sloppy handling but Laporte said the home team had also been given the benefit of the doubt with two tries that followed seemingly blatant knock-ons.

"There's no doubt the All Blacks were far superior but we didn't understand some of the referee rulings," he said.
New Zealand are the early favourites to win this year's World Cup but Laporte issued a sobering warning to All Blacks supporters, who have been waiting 20 years for their second title after winning the inaugural tournament in 1987.

New Zealand demolished France 54-7 in Wellington in June 1999 but the French famously turned the result around to beat the All Blacks 43-31 in the World Cup semi-finals in London later that same year in one of the most remarkable matches ever played.

"It's quite obvious that they are favourites for the World Cup, they have the best players in many positions," Laporte said.
"But it doesn't mean that if you start the grand prix in pole position that you are going to win the grand prix."

McCaw and Carter doubtful

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and flyhalf Dan Carter are doubtful for the second test against France in Wellington next week after suffering injuries in the 42-11 win in Auckland on Saturday.
Assistant coach Steve Hansen said neither player was seriously hurt but the All Blacks did not want to take any chances with the start of the World Cup just three months away.

McCaw banged his hip and Carter rolled his ankle early in the match. Both players finished the first half but were replaced during the interval with New Zealand leading 20-3.
"It was just a precaution, they could have kept playing," Hansen told a news conference on Sunday.
"The good news is that the injuries haven't got any worse overnight but we won't really know how they are until Tuesday. But there's no panic."

Hansen said the All Blacks selectors had still not discussed the makeup of their team for the second test in Wellington but were likely to make wholesale changes after their convincing five tries to one drubbing of a below-strength French side.
The selectors are determined to give as many players as possible game time in the lead-up to the World Cup and avoid burning out their best players.

"The benefits of what we're trying to do will hopefully come through in October. That is when we have to peak and when we want to be at our sharpest," Hansen said.
The New Zealanders had no problems overcoming an inexperienced French team that had only arrived in the country four days before the series opener although not everything went according to script.

Centre Aaron Mauger and wing Sitiveni Sivivatu scored two tries apiece while replacement forward Rodney So'oialo also barged his way over for a five-pointer but the All Blacks were uncharacteristically rusty and wasted at least five other tryscoring opportunities through sloppy handling.

"The (wet) conditions probably contributed a lot to that but overall we're pretty happy, it's a good start to the season," head coach Graham Henry said.
"We've still got plenty to work on but we're creating those opportunities.
"We just have to make sure we nail them. If we weren't creating the opportunities I'd be worried."

Test match or farse?

-> Hey people! hope you enjoyed the C team!!! No, I'm kidding

Instead of saying France is bringing its C team, blame the rest of European teams for bringing their C teams while their national championships are over! and blame the IRB for not helping the Southern and Northern calendars to match (if you find a better way to write the last part of the sentence, don't hesitate! I'm begging for help!)
Picture of Sebastien Chabal, Chris Masoe's new friend...
Pressure mounting for ABs

-> the ABs' captain is praised by a former AB, his teammates but also his opponents.
The one thing that we can wish him is to bring this f***ing cup back home -or just to try his best doing it. Thank you very much TVNZ, but we already knew it -otherwise, why would we be here?

No comments: