BANG! Tuipulotu's sickening hit leaves Frenchman in agony as baby All Blacks roll to victory in Lyon

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live updates of this morning's international match between the All Blacks and a French Selection XV in Lyon.

FT: FXV 23-28 NZL

THAT DOES IT! The ABs come through with a HUGE scrum and get the turnover! They pick and go once from there to make sure time is up before kicking into touch. Brilliant game of rugby and good to see the ABs come out firing in a second half. Discipline really hurt them in the final 20m but they held on when it mattered most. 

79min: FXV 23-28 NZL

One last attack for France as the ABs knock the ball on in the ruck looking for a turnover. Scrum is just outside the ABs 22m on the left side of the field.

78min: FXV 23-28 NZL

Aumua's throw is wild and the French get a scrum off the knock on! It's on halfway. This is probably their last big chance to score here. Big pressure test for these young ABs.

77min: FXV 23-28 NZL

PENALTY TO THE ALL BLACKS! French go to the maul again but the bring it down safely this time. However, the pick and go is ugly and the ABs are all over it and the French don't release! Mo'unga clears to halfway and Goodhue is back in the game. 

76min: FXV 23-28 NZL

French get more great attacking territory as the ABs are pinged for a dangerous tackle. The kick sails deep into the ABs' 22m. The lineout will be 15m out. Can the ABs hold on?

73min: FXV 23-28 NZL

FXV TRY! GAME ON! French cross over on the left side for an easy try after a brilliant linebreak deep in their half. Mo'unga makes a try-saving tackle 10m from his line but the French recycle quickly and the ABs have no one on the blindside. They trot in to score easily but miss the conversion. This game is going down to the wire folks.

70min: FXV 18-28 NZL

The French lose the ball at the lineout! They go for another maul and again the ABs shut it down for a turnover called by the ref! ABs get a scrum, they set it nicely and Mo'unga clears. Good bit of time chewed up from that too in Goodhue's sin bin.

67min: FXV 18-28 NZL

NZL YELLOW! French with their tails up now! They've got another penalty and the TMO is back to check foul play on Goodhue. The replays show he's taken out a player who could've gone on to score inside the ABs' 22m. It's not close enough to also warrent a penalty try but the sin bin is correct. The French kick for touch and get a 5m lineout. Big moment coming up. 

65min: FXV 18-28 NZL

Wow! The TMO chirps in to ask the ref to check for foul play so they go upstairs. They check whether Moli has obstructed play prior to the head high. He's collided with a rushing French defender but it has no impact on the unfolding play. However, the ref thinks it's enough to reverse the call so he does! No three points for the ABs coming up, a clearing kick from the French is though.

63min: FXV 18-28 NZL

Tempers are flaring here as a couple of scuffles break out. The first is after Havili is taken out in the air. It's not a dangerous finish but it's enough to earn the ABs a penalty. From there another breaks out after Moli makes contact with a Frenchman's head in the breakdown as he joins the ruck. Nothing malicious but it got the French fired up. Ref calls time off to cool things down but it doesn't help as the French make a high tackle straight after to give the ABs another penalty. Looks like they're opting for three this time.

60min: FXV 18-28 NZL

FXV THREE! French bounce back as they earn a penalty on halfway. Interesting they opt for three instead of a kick for touch but it's probably just to try and stop the run the ABs are on.

56min: FXV 15-28 NZL

NZL TRY! Laumape steamrolls over to score! ABS get a free kick at the scrum which Kerr-Barlow takes quickly. He's stopped inches short but the ABs recycle quickly to the right and Laumape hits the ball at speed and you won't stop him from there! Easy two points for Sopoaga.

55min: FXV 15-21 NZL

Welcome to the All Blacks Akira Ioane! The big loosie takes the catch off the kickoff clean. The All Blacks recycle for two phases before Kerr-Barlow goes for an up and under. The French can't recover it but Ioane does and he runs for 30m deep into the French half. The French recover the ball as he's isolated and they clear. All Blacks get inside the 22m as they take another quick lineout and storm back in. The French are offside resetting and it's a penalty! All Blacks choose the scrum - 7m out in the middle of the field. Can they convert again?

52min: FXV 15-21 NZL

NZL TRY! Tuipulotu is in! The ABs finally convert on all the pressure they've built as the lock stretches out to score under the posts. They went wide again to Squire on that left wing to get inside the 22m and Tuipulotu is in the midfield to bowl over for five.

49min: FXV 15-14 NZL

NZL NO TRY! The All Blacks go back to their wide attack and this time it gets Squire in space down the left sideline again. He pops it back infield metres short of the line as he's tackled out of play to Perry and he tries to score but it's close. TMO shows he was taken out first before he got it down so it's a French lineout. Good news is it has been all All Blacks so far this half. Just need to convert.

48min: FXV 15-14 NZL

ABs with another attacking chance as the French knock the ball on shortly after the lineout to give them a scrum. It's about 30m out.

47min: FXV 15-14 NZL

Curse of the commentator as the All Blacks' front row collapses and is penalised. They couldn't get any footing and lose their attacking chance as a result. France clear for a lineout on their 10m.

46min: FXV 15-14 NZL

ANOTHER scrum coming as Perry drives over the line but is held up. ABs have yet to go wide here. Constant pick and goes have been the go-to as they look to tire out the French. Of note as well, the pitch is getting ripped to shdreds in this area of the field now. Three scrums and 20+ rucks have not helped this fragile turf at all. Could struggle for footing. 

44min: FXV 15-14 NZL

It gets sloppy at the breakdown and there's knock-ons galore as the All Blacks push for the line. The ref goes upstairs to see who lost the ball first on the chalk and it shows the French did trying to get the ball. That means another scrum on the French 5m coming up.

42min: FXV 15-14 NZL

All Blacks with all the early momentum as a shocking clearance from Trinh-Duc gives them a lineout inside the French 22m. They grind for 10m before they pick up a penalty for offside. It's an easy three points on offer but the ABs opt for a scrum. Can they convert?

HT: FXV 15-14 NZL

Sopoaga goes for a short pass and it is well forward so that will wrap things up. Close-contested half but the French deservedly in front. All Blacks have shown glipmses of flair but for the most part, the French are winning in most key stats. The thought in the back of everyone's minds is the ABs will need a big second half to come away with the win - something they have for the most part lacked this year. We'll be back in 15min for the second half! 

40min: FXV 15-14 NZL

We lied. NOW they have the last attacking chance. ABs lose the ball at the lineout as the French contest and get in front to bring the ball down, but the ABs force a maul and once again trap it in there to earn a scrum. This'll be the last play of the half on the French 5m. Can they convert?

38min: FXV 15-14 NZL

All Blacks will get the last attacking chance of the half as a pair of penalties gives them a lineout on the French 5m. They could've looked for three points but they want to finish the half on a real high.

35min: FXV 15-14 NZL

FXV THREE! Another strong defensive display from the All Blacks is undone by an offside penalty and Trinh-Duc steps up for an easy three to take the lead - that probably shows you what mindset this French side has. They want a win no matter what.

32min: FXV 12-14 NZL

French now with good attacking position as Squire is penalised for a head high tackle. That gives them a kick and they get a lineout 10m out from the ABs line as a result. NZ defence needs to step up again here.

29min: FXV 12-14 NZL

FXV TRY! The French pounce as the attacking style that gave the ABs two tries so far has this time given Lacroix his second. The All Blacks get themselves into the French 22m again thanks to an earlier penalty off the kickoff and they look to go wide again. Laumape tries a skip pass but the French winger is waiting and snags the easy intercept. He runs away for 80m and touches down. In fairness, had it been another 10m, Sopoaga probably would've had him. They miss the extras so ABs still in front.

25min: FXV 7-14 NZL

NZL TRY! All Blacks are in! French are penalised for playing at the ball in a ruck just inside their half. Kerr-Barlow quick taps and is off running! He steps and shimmies past the offside players into the 22m and is taken down. The defence isn't set and the ABs again shift the ball wide but this time it's to Duffie and he dives in the right corner to score. Sopoaga with another beauty for two.

22min: FXV 7-7 NZL

Some fantastic defence denies the ABs and Tamanivalu a try. The French force another lineout on halfway which the ABs take quickly, the French are out of position and the ABs pounce. They fling the ball donw the backline and the big skip pass finds Tamanivalu in space as he runs into the French 22m. He's looking to finish in the left corner but he's tackled out 2m short by two tacklers. Great run, better defence.

20min: FXV 7-7 NZL

All Blacks bounce back well thanks to a strong run from Tamanivalu. After trading kicks off the kick off, Tamanivalu lines up one-on-one with Lacroix and bowls over him. The All Blacks surge inside the French 22m but they look a little lost and the French pounce at the breakdown, forcing a knock on. French scrum just inside the 22m in the middle of the field. They recycle and clear into touch. NZ lineout on halfway coming up.

16min: FXV 7-7 NZL

FXV TRY! The Lyon crowd roars as the French strike through Lacroix. Quick hands to the right hand side and Havili is drawn in to create the whole. The final pass sticks and Lacroix sprints away for 20m and a try in the right corner. Trinh-Duc has the extras and we're tied up again.

14min: FXV 0-7 NZL

Stoppage on the field as Macalau is out cold. Not a nice sight. Tuipulotu was the tackler but it wasn't malicious or dangerous contact. It was a good, hard tackle that the French No.8 unfortunately went in to head-first and met the Kiwi lock's shoulder. He gets a cheer from the crowd as he finally sits up but his night is over. Ref not looking at the tackle either which is good news too. French get a scrum to restart things, 10m inside ABs half on the left of the field.

11min: FXV 0-7 NZL

NZL TRY! The ABs are in! Nice, composed attack that goes for nine phases before Squire touches down in the left corner. They go down the line to the right corner to get inside the 22m and set up a ruck, a couple of pick and goes to draw the defence in and then they spring the ball down the line to finish with a skip pass to Squire. Simple and effective. Sopoaga slots a stunner from the left touchline.

9min: FXV 0-0 NZL

The clearance goes to halfway from Kerr-Barlow, France runs off the top of the lineout but they lose it at the breakdown thanks to some great work from Savea. ABs on the counter attack go left and find a hole, they surge into the French half and Squire is finally brought down just outside the French 22m. ABs first real attacking chance of the game here.

7min: FXV 0-0 NZL

The ABs survive! France looks for a maul but the ABs are prepared and shut down the shove. It goes to ground and the ref rules it's not coming out so it's a scrum for NZ! They'll take some confidence from that. ABs scrum on their 5m near the right touchline coming up.

5min: FXV 0-0 NZL

France make a break down the left sideline and the ABs are in trouble! They're five metres out now. ABs called for offside and the French back themselves. They kick for the lineout instead of a sure three. First big defensive test coming up now.

3min: FXV 0-0 NZL

And it's a tighthead! All Blacks surge and get the turnover in the scrum. They clear but the kick doesn't go out. French respond with a clear of their own though and it gives the ABs a lineout on halfway. They lose the ball off the top and France kick for territory. ABs set up a ruck inside their 22m. They clear but the kick isn't out again! France looking to run now.

0min: FXV 0-0 NZL

And a sloppy start has NZ on the backfoot already. Tuipulotu knocks on the catch from kickoff so we head to a French scrum inside the 22m.

KICKOFF

Tawera Kerr-Barlow leads the haka in what will likely be his last match in black. It's a clear night in Lyon and the passionate crowd is already making their voices heard. The pitch really isn't looking great though - it's usually reserved for football so at scrum time we could see it rip up a lot. Already visible signs of damage from warm ups.

Moments away from the French kicking things off.

The All Blacks coach isn't taking anything for granted against an inexperienced France.
The All Blacks perform the haka to France prior to their match in 2016. Source: Photosport

PRE-GAME

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen isn't concerned their midweek match in Lyon is being promoted as a Test.

In fact he welcomes it.

New Zealand's opponents are listed as "France", rather than a French Selection, as NZ Rugby is calling them, with visiting officials keen to emphasise the match has non-Test status.

Hansen didn't want to get caught up in the debate but he was delighted his inexperienced players will be put under the blowtorch, even if it is because of a misconception.

"They've got to sell the match. There's 60,000 seats to fill, which they've done," Hansen said.

"It's good, I reckon. Our guys will be thinking it's the second Test too."

It won't just be the crowd size which the Luke Whitelock-led side will find daunting.

The French selection is close in strength to the Test team beaten 38-18 by New Zealand in Paris on Saturday.

First five-eighth Francois Trinh-Duc and captain/lock Yoann Maestri have both clocked up more than 50 caps and share 11 clashes against the All Blacks between them.

Trinh-Duc was in the last France side to beat the All Blacks, in Dunedin in 2009, when he scored a fine individual try.

Hansen says both sides will be highly motivated.

"It's very much our second team and very much their second team but it is the All Blacks versus France. Both lots of squad members will see it as an opportunity to further their career."

Hansen wants a repeat of the physicality and defence on show from his Test team at Stade de France.

The missing ingredient in Paris was discipline.

"There was a lot of good stuff in it, both on attack and defence," he said.

"We defended, I think, extremely well at times, and really physically. We just let them off the hook, giving away silly penalties."

Flanker Liam Squire is the only starting player likely to also start against Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday.

Hansen plans to replace Squire early in the match, once he's convinced the tough blindside has overcome the virus that confined him to his room for five days earlier in the tour.

Hooker Nathan Harris may also get an early exit as he will come onto the Test bench as backup to Codie Taylor following the tour-ending knee injury to Dane Coles.

TEAMS

NZL: David Havili, Matt Duffie, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Seta Tamanivalu, Lima Sopoaga, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Luke Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Dominic Bird, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Nathan Harris, Tim Perry

NZL Reserves: Asafo Aumua, Atu Moli, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Akira Ioane, Dillon Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Richie Mo'unga

FXV: Scott Spedding, Gabrielle Lacroix, Henry Chavancy, Jonathan Danty, Hugo Bonneval, Francois Trinh-Duc, Yann Lesgourgues, Sekou Macalou, Marco Tauleigne, Wenceslas Lauret, Yoann Maestri, Romain Taofifenua, Malik Hamadache, Camille Chat, Dany Priso

FXV Reserves: Christopher Tolofua, Mohamed Boughanmi, Lucas Pointud, Julien le Devedec, Fabien Sanconnie, Maxime Machenaud, Jules Plisson, Vincent Rattez


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'I will be joining an elite Test team' - John Mitchell confirmed as new England defence coach

Former New Zealand head coach John Mitchell will be joining Eddie Jones' staff as England's defence coach until the end of next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Mitchell will leave his role of Executive of Rugby for South African Super Rugby side the Bulls and join up with former Wallabies boss Jones this month to help prepare for their upcoming run of internationals, including a clash against Australia on November 24 at Twickenham.

The 54-year-old replaces Paul Gustard, who took over as head coach of English premiership side Harlequins this season.

"This is an exciting opportunity to work with England Rugby and support Eddie Jones as head coach," Mitchell said.

"I will be joining an elite high-performance programme, test team and coaching group where I will use all my experience and focus to bring the necessary clarity and confidence to the players from a defensive perspective."

England's defence has come under intense scrutiny after a poor run of form in 2018 that has included five defeats in eight internationals.

Three of those losses came in the Six Nations as the defending champions finished a dismal fifth, and criticism has mounted in the wake of their 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

The hope is that Mitchell's experience will aid an upturn in form. The New Zealander previously served as forwards coach to Clive Woodward when the latter was in charge of England between 1997 and 2000.

As head coach of the All Blacks, he won 23 of 28 tests and led the team to a third-place finish at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and consecutive Tri-Nations titles.

"Defence is a key pillar of our game and John is an experienced coach," said Australian Jones.

"He's coached the All Blacks, USA Rugby and a number of Super Rugby sides so he will bring a wealth of experience and add to the coaching mix we have here."


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'It's a great opportunity' - Canterbury law student dabbles in new NZ Rugby initiative, Ignite Sevens

Canterbury sevens player Grace Steinmetz only played the game last year in December and is now having a crack at making the national women’s team.

New Zealand Rugby has started a new initiative Ignite 7 which sees 48 female and 48 male athletes take part in a four day event on November 21.

Players will go through a field of testing before playing in a televised one day tournament to earmark new talent.

"Hadn't played rugby or sevens before, so come from a touch and hockey background," said Steinmetz.

The 20-year-old law student hopes to one day wear the Black Ferns women jumper as she tries out her hand in the Ignite 7 tournament.

"It is something I would love to do one day, I think it's a great opportunity for sevens now girls, it's professional and it can be your job now," she said.

"I don't have to worry about my law degree, like I can just go and train and be a professional athlete which is definitely a goal of mine."

Coming from a touch and hockey background Grace Steinmetz admits she is still getting used to contact. Source: 1 NEWS


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Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup tickets to go on sale, All Blacks fans urged to get in quick

All Blacks fans are urged to get in quick if they are to secure seats at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, with officials warning tickets will sell out fast one year out from the tournament.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. New Zealand All Blacks v Australia Wallabies, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Saturday 31 October 2015. Copyright Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw holds aloft the William Webb Ellis Cup after winning Rugby World Cup Final. Source: Photosport

Half a million tickets have already been pre-sold with tickets set to be open for sale to the public at 1pm today (NZ time).

Head of the Rugby World Cup Alan Gilpin believes there will be an "unprecedented demand" for tickets which involves the home team, Japan's Brave Blossoms and the top tier nations.

"All the matches involving Japan, definitely all the matches involving New Zealand... England, Australia are experiencing high demand and we would expect they will be sold out very quickly," said Gilpin.

The All Blacks begin their title defence against the Springboks in Yokohama, the evening after the tournament opener between Japan and Russia in Tokyo on September 20, 2019.

Adult ticket prices are expected to range from ¥10,000 - ¥40,000 (NZD $136-$544) while tickets to the final on November 2 to cost anywhere between ¥25,000 - ¥100,000 (NZD $340-$1361).

"When you bring Rugby World Cup to a place like Japan, you hope that people will get behind it and the demand will be there – and it really has been," said Gilpin.

"It's a fantastic story for the event and a good message of confidence for the organising committee."


Most read: Meet the Kiwi farmer who went from being a Black Fern to becoming the first female to ref a men's first-class game

This story was first published on Tuesday September 18

Rebecca Mahoney says the milestone isn’t about gender – it’s about hard work and a bit of training. Source: 1 NEWS | Sky

Former Black Fern Rebecca Mahoney may have made history when she became the first woman to referee a men’s first-class rugby match last weekend, but she’s shaking off the milestone.

"It's not about who you are or where you're from or what your gender is, it's just hard work and a bit of training."

The 35-year-old has been around rugby most of her life, having won two World Cups before trading in her No.10 jersey for the whistle.

That experience came in handy on Saturday in Te Aroha when she officiated her first Mitre 10 Heartland Championship game between King Country and Thames Valley.

"To see women ref out there, there's no problems," Thames Valley captain Alex Bradley said after the game.

"They take control - probably better than some of the men."

But it’s not just her experience from the game that helps her.

Mahoney says farm life in Eketahuna plays an important role too.

"I'm extremely challenged to hit a standard that most of the boys can hit quite easily, and that's not going to change - genetics aren’t going to change that," she said.

"It’s just a lot of hard work that's going to have to go into it."

History shows the rural lifestyle has gone hand in hand with rugby's greatest figures – take Sir Colin Meads as a prime example.

Women have officiated men in Tests between developing nations but nothing close to the intensity of first-class New Zealand domestic rugby.

While Mahoney doesn’t think she’ll ever officiate the All Blacks, she’s happy knowing the path is a little bit closer.


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