Classy All Blacks dominate spirited French, score sensational set move try in final Test

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of the third and final Test between the All Blacks and France from Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.


Waisake Naholo has had enough after the All Blacks try to run it out of their own 22 but they are going nowhere. Naholo kicks the ball into touch.

79 mins: ALL BLACKS 49 FRANCE 14

France had a real chance to score after Waisake Naholo threw an intercept pass. But the All Blacks scramble well and it is reserve hooker Liam Coltman comes up with an excellent tackle and the French knock the ball on deep inside the All Blacks' 22.

72 mins: ALL BLACKS 49 FRANCE 14

Local hero Liam Coltman enters the game and he replaces All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor.

69 mins: ALL BLACKS 49 FRANCE 14

A great night for Damian McKenzie at first-five and he is replaced by Richie Mo'unga who makes his debut.

65 mins: ALL BLACKS 49 FRANCE 14

All Blacks. Source: Photosport

TRY! Damian McKenzie looks up and sees gaps in the French line and delivers a perfect pass to Rieko Ioane who scores his third try of the match.

McKenzie is again perfect with the conversion from out wide. 

64 mins: ALL BLACKS 42 FRANCE 14

NO TRY! Shannon Frizell carries two defenders over with him and the ref awards the try. He goes upstairs to make sure and the TMO rules that there is no clear grounding from Frizell and the No.6 is denied a try on his debut. 

59 mins: ALL BLACKS 42 FRANCE 14

TRY! Rieko Ioane goes over for his second try of the match. It is Scott Barrett that strips the ball off the French and Aaron Smith spins the ball out to the right side. Ben Smith makes a smart catch and pass with Ioane dotting over down the right edge.

Damian McKenzie slots his shot at goal from the sideline.

58 mins: ALL BLACKS 35 FRANCE 14

Sonny Bill Williams is replaced by Jordie Barrett after SBW stayed down after making a tackle on France's Wesley Fofana. Williams clutched at his shoulder and medics attend to him.

53 mins: ALL BLACKS 35 FRANCE 14

TRY! What a set move from the ABs! Sonny Bill Williams throws a back door pass to Damian McKenzie with the ABs first-five popping a perfect inside ball to Rieko Ioane who hits the line at pace. Jack Goodhue's run at the line had the French defenders in two minds and Ioane scores a sensational All Blacks try.

Damian McKenzie keeps his perfect record of the night intact.

48 mins: ALL BLACKS 28 FRANCE 14

TRY! Damian McKenzie cuts up the French defence, he's too fast and he dots down over under the goal posts for his second try of the match.

He converts his own try with ease from in front of the sticks.

43 mins: ALL BLACKS 21 FRANCE 14

SCRUM! The All Blacks force the turnover holding up the maul and they have scrum deep inside their own 22m line.

40 mins: ALL BLACKS 21 FRANCE 14

Not the start the All Blacks would have wanted as Damian McKenzie's kick-off doesn't go 10. The French have a scrum at halfway.


France look to have one last go before the break and they make some inroads down the left flank. The All Blacks scramble well on defence and Aaron Smith kicks the ball into touch.

The visitors are throwing everything at the All Blacks. Another controversial call from officials allows the home side to lead 21-14 at the break. Damian McKenzie's try will be a big talking point after referee John Lacey got in the way of French reserve halfback Baptiste Serin of making an attempted tackle.

Lacey went upstairs and had one look at the replay and awarded the try.

39 mins: ALL BLACKS 21 FRANCE 14

PENALTY! Matt Todd comes up with a crucial turnover and gets his side out of jail.

38 mins: ALL BLACKS 21 FRANCE 14

SCRUM! French left winger Gael Fickou looks to kick but he tucks the ball under his arm and makes a great run up the field and he only has one defender to beat. The French now in great try-scoring position. France grubber the ball and Ben Smith is forced to play at the ball and the French have a scrum five metres out from the ABs goal-line.

32 mins: ALL BLACKS 21 FRANCE 14

TRY! Damian McKenzie crosses over the try-line untouched after Aaron Smith delivers a perfect pass to the ABs first-five from the back of the NZ scrum. The officials go upstairs and replays show that the French reserve halfback Baptiste Serin was taken out of play by the referee. The ref John Lacey is happy with the try from McKenzie and blows his whistle.

McKenzie lands his kick at goal from in front of the sticks.

31 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 14

Shannon Frizell has been cleared to return to the field and he replaces Jackson Hemopo. A nice cameo from the Highlanders forward who had a hand in Todd's try. 

28 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 14

TRY! French second-five Wesley Fofana pushes off All Blacks midfielder Jack Goodhue and Matt Todd and slams the ball down for the second try for the visitors. France are growing in confidence as they are offloading the ball at will.

The conversion is good from France and the scores are locked up at 14-14.

24 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 7

SCRUM! The French have come to play, their offloads are causing the All Blacks all sorts of problems and they now have an attacking scrum deep inside the All Blacks' 22m line.

22 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 7

TRY! The All Blacks go for a quick line-out and hit the front. Jackson Hemopo makes a great catch and it is Matt Todd who comes up with the ball. An excellent set play from the ABs.

Damian McKenzie lands the conversion from the sideline.

22 mins: ALL BLACKS 7 FRANCE 7

Shannon Frizell has gone off for an HIA and Jackson Hemopo is on for his first All Blacks cap.

21 mins: ALL BLACKS 7 FRANCE 7

The All Blacks are starting to settle and are starting to find holes in France's defence. The back door pass option from Aaron Smith to his backline is creating opportunities for the ABs on attack. 

16 mins: ALL BLACKS 7 FRANCE 7

TRY! The All Blacks reply with a try of their own with the local hero Ben Smith crossing over to score close to the posts. Rieko Ioane almost got through earlier down the left edge and he was pulled up five metres short.

Damian McKenzie delivers a long cut out pass to Sonny Bill Williams who recognises a huge hole in the French defence and he pops a clever pass to Smith who crosses over to score the All Blacks' first try.

McKenzie is online with his kick at goal.

Bad news for Ardie Savea as his night looks to be over as Matt Todd replaces him at openside flanker.

11 mins: ALL BLACKS 0 FRANCE 7

TRY! Reserve halfback Baptiste Serin throws a dummy and he makes it through the ABs defence and he scores the opening try. The All Blacks' defence in disarray after multiple attacks from the French.

The kick is good and the French lead 7-0. 

10 mins: ALL BLACKS 0 FRANCE 0

SCRUM! Unlucky for All Blacks first-five Damian McKenzie as his kick from inside his own 22 goes bouncing dead. The French now have a good chance to attack in side the All Blacks 22m line in the middle of the field.


The All Blacks get out of jail after French right winger Teddy Thomas almost scores a five pointer, he chases his own kick and almost regathers. Aaron Smith gets to the ball first and Damian McKenzie clears the ball into touch. The French have an attacking line-out on the All Blacks' 22m line.


The French are hot on attack deep inside the All Blacks 22. A sensational start from the visitors as the All Blacks are forced to defend their goal-line - 17 phases so far from the French. 


A long opening passage of play as the All Blacks hold out multiple attacking runs of the French. France are forced to kick and the All Blacks have a line-out throw at halfway.



France kick off to the All Blacks with the ball landing just outside the home side's 22.

7.28pm: A huge roar from the Dunedin crowd as Sam Whitelock leads the men in black onto the field.


Having wrapped up the series with an unconvincing 26-13 win in Wellington, the All Blacks head south to Dunedin looking for a series sweep - with one eye on the future.

The quartet of Shannon Frizell, Richie Mo'unga, Jackson Hemopo and Jack Goodhue are all named for their Test debuts, while Damian McKenzie will start his first ever international at first-five in the absence of Beauden Barrett.

Elsehwere, Ben Smith shifts back to his preferred position of fullback on his home ground, with Jordie Barrett dropping to the bench.

For France, coach Jacques Brunel has sprung a surprise selection, with captain Mathieu Bastareaud dropped from the squad entirely, with a new centre pairing of Wesley Fofana and Remi Lamerat preferred. Halfback Morgan Parra will take the reigns as skipper.

Meanwhile, fullback Benjamin Fall will start, after his red card from Wellington was rescinded in midweek.


All Blacks: 15. Ben Smith, 14. Waisake Naholo, 13. Jack Goodhue, 12. Sonny Bill Williams, 11. Rieko Ioane, 10. Damian McKenzie, 9. Aaron Smith, 8. Luke Whitelock, 7. Ardie Savea, 6. Shannon Frizell, 5. Scott Barrett, 4. Sam Whitelock (c), 3. Owen Franks, 2. Codie Taylor, 1. Joe Moody.

Reserves: 16. Liam Coltman, 17. Karl Tu'inukuafe, 18. Ofa Tunngafasi, 19. Jackson Hemopo, 20. Matt Todd, 21. TJ Perenara, 22. Richie Mo'unga, 23. Jordie Barrett.

France: 15. Benjamin Fall, 14. Teddy Thomas, 13. Remi Lamerat, 12. Wesley Fofana, 11. Gael Fickou, 10. Anthony Belleau, 9. Morgan Parra (c), 8. Kevin Gourdon, 7. Kelian Galletier, 6. Mathieu Babillot, 5. Yoann Maestri, 4. Bernard Le Roux, 3. Uini Atonio, 2. Camille Chat, 1. Dany Priso.

Reserves: 16. Adrien Pelissie, 17. Cyril Baille, 18. Cedate Gomes Sa, 19. Felix Lambey, 20. Alexandre Lapandry, 21. Baptiste Serin, 22. Jules Plisson, 23. Maxime Medard.

22 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 7
22 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 7
22 mins: ALL BLACKS 14 FRANCE 7
64 mins: ALL BLACKS 42 FRANCE 14



Ryan Crotty admits All Blacks underutilised kicking game in loss to South Africa

All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty admitted an area his side failed to utilise in their loss to the Springboks was their kicking game.

The 30-year-old said at a press conference overnight in Argenitna that keeping the ball in hand during their Rugby ChampionshipTest match in Wellington a fortnight ago put them under more pressure.

"I think potentially...we could have kicked a little bit more," Crotty said.

"(We) could have put them under a little bit more pressure. We held the ball a lot and created some opportunities."

The All Blacks went down 36-34 at Westpac Stadium, in a match that went right down to the wire.

"They made a lot of tackles, but potentially we could have put them under pressure in other ways," Crotty said.

The All Blacks are in Argentina, where they take on the Pumas in Buenos Aires on Sunday at José Amalfitani Stadium.

Ryan Crotty.
New Zealand All Blacks v South Africa Springboks. Rugby Championship test match. Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand. Saturday 15 September 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga /
All Blacks midfielder Ryan Crotty in action against the Springboks in Wellington. Source: Photosport



Revitalised by Springboks loss, All Blacks 'jumping out of their skin' for Argentina Test

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster revealed that there was a new revitalised energy at training amongst the team, ahead of their Sunday Test against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

After reviewing their 36-34 loss to the Springboks a fortnight ago in Wellington, Foster said the players were eager to correct their mistakes.

"I think everyone was jumping out of their skin to get onto the training park and have a good blowout today," said Foster.

"Two or three days of recovering and our normal processes of reviewing and planning, a bit of added spice to it from our last game."

Argentina will have a lot of confidence going into Sunday's Test, after defeating Australia 23-19 in the Gold Coast two weeks ago.

"We try to keep our processes as consistent as possible because what we are trying to do is review a performance, not just a result," Foster said.

The ABs assistant coach says there is a new energy in the team following their upset. Source: All Blacks TV

"It does add a little bit when you come off a poor performance and the fact that that performance equated to a loss is a bit of a double whammy."

The All Blacks need a bonus point victory against the Pumas this weekend to secure the Rugby Championship title for a third consecutive year.

"We've pulled a few things apart and we are pretty happy as to where we have got to," Foster said.

Argentina defeated the Springboks last month 32-19 in Mendoza but were outclassed 46-24 by the All Blacks the last time they met at Trafalgar Park in Nelson earlier this month.

Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match, All Blacks V Argentina , Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, 8th September, 2018. Copyright photo: John Davidson /
Jack Goodhue of the All Blacks fends off Tomas Lezana of Argentina during a Rugby Championship match in Nelson. Source: Photosport



England can overtake All Blacks 'within a year' says John Mitchell

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell believes that England can overtake New Zealand in less than 12 months, having recently joined Eddie Jones' coaching set-up.

Having been in charge of the All Blacks in an ill-fated stint from 2001-03, 54-year old Mitchell now finds himself as England's defence coach, and will take on old team in November.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mitchell says that beating the All Blacks is a key motivator for his new side, but says that it can happen in less than 12 months.

"I really believe that England can get better and be the best within a year's time. I really do believe that. Why? Because of what I've seen in the past."

"They [the All Blacks] are outstanding, but I guess what gives us all life is that it is a World Cup year and a World Cup does close the gap.

"It's knockout rugby and you just need to focus on being the better team yourself.

"New Zealand have set the benchmark and sent out the signal to all of us – 'you come and get us'."

Conrad Smith against England Source: Photosport


'Never give up until your time is finished' - Israel Dagg still dreaming of All Blacks recall

Former All Black Israel Dagg says he refuses to believe his time in the black jersey is over, after falling down the pecking order in Steve Hansen's side.

Dagg, 30, is currently in the middle of a stint with the Canon Eagles in Japan, appearing to be behind the likes of Rieko Ioane, Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Waisake Naholo in the reckoning for a spot in the All Blacks' back three.

Speaking to Stuff though, Dagg says that he's confident of adding to his 66 Tests, having this year won a second straight Super Rugby title with the Crusaders.

"You never give up until your time is finished in New Zealand. I'll go back to Christchurch next year and give it one last whirl and if it works out, it works out," Dagg said.

"It's pretty competitive in the back three, especially in my position, so we'll see how it goes. I've just got to start playing well for the Crusaders and hopefully things take care of themselves."

With less than a year until the next World Cup in Japan, Dagg also says that he's using the memory of 2015 as motivation, having been overlooked for Steve Hansen's squad for the England tournament.

"It does light a bit of fire in the belly. I hold no grudges, [missing the 2015 Rugby World Cup] was a long time ago. Being a family man now, you kind of can deal with things a lot easier now. Whatever happens, happens. I'll go back to New Zealand and give it my best."

Dagg is yet to feature for the Canon Eagles due to a calf injury, but is available to make his debut on Sunday against the Coca-Cola Red Sparks.

Israel Dagg Source: Getty