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Home / Cardiff and it's Bay / Home and School / International media glowing in praise of All Blacks after demolition of France

International media glowing in praise of All Blacks after demolition of France

International media glowing in praise of All Blacks after demolition of France

Toby Robson and Richard Knowler reflect on the All Blacks’ thrashing of France in Cardiff.

Black magic, masterclass, excellence – the tributes flowed as the All Blacks finally won over the foreign media with their French execution in the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.

The international press had largely been condemning of the All Blacks’ sloppy pool play performances. But they were quick to admire and acknowledge as the New Zealanders beat France 62-13 in record fashion in Cardiff.

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“If there was a mutiny inside the France camp this week the impact on events here at the Millennium Stadium was negligible. To the irrepressible, irresistible All Blacks the French offered little resistance, succumbing rather meekly in the end to a masterclass in international rugby,” Matt Lawton wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

“When New Zealand play like this nobody can live with them. Not Australia, not South Africa. Certainly not the French.

“It is rugby from a different world. Rugby on a different level. Rugby played with more speed, flair and ferocity than any other side can manage.”

The All Blacks had a night to remember in Cardiff after crushing France 62-13 in their quarterfinal clash at Millennium Stadium.

They singled out Julian Savea’s hat-trick “which bore resemblance to Jonah Lomu” and “the return of Dan Carter” as defining performances.

In The Guardian, rugby correspondent Robert Kitson was similarly generous

“No French frolics this time, just pure black magic,” Kitson said in reference to the All Blacks wiping out memories of France’s famous 2007 quarterfinal win at the same ground.

“The record books will show that New Zealand cruised into the World Cup semifinals without a backward glance but give little hint of the cruel beauty of this nine-try exhibition.

“This was attacking rugby par excellence, performed by a side who prefer the stiletto to the lead piping. If they keep playing like this, the Webb Ellis Cup is heading in only one direction.”

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Ma’a Nonu tries to break away from France’s Morgan Parra during their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

New Zealand’s Tawera Kerr Barlow is about to score one of his two tries after receiving a pass from Ma’a Nonu (right) against France in their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

New Zealand’s Tawera Kerr-Barlow celebrates scoring a try with Beauden Barrett and Ma’a Nonu during their big win over France in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal match at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

New Zealand’s Tawera Kerr Barlow sprints in for one of his two tries against France in their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

A happy Kieran Read strolls across to score another New Zealand try against France in the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

Hat-trick time. All Blacks winger Julian Savea runs in his third try of the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

France players look dejected after another New Zealand try in their 2015 Rugby World Cup quartefinal match at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

New Zealand’s Jerome Kaino scores a try against France in their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

New Zealand’s Ben Smith can’t get to the ball before it rolls for a try across the deadball line after a charge down in their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

France’s Louis Picamoles is shown a yellow card and is sent to the sin bin for using a fist on New Zealand captain Richie McCaw during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

France’s Bernard Le Roux squares up to New Zealand’s Jerome Kaino during their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 17: Ben Smith of the New Zealand All Blacks tackles Wesley Fofana of France during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

New Zealand players celebrate with Julian Savea after the big winger had scored the team’s fourth try of the first half of the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

All Blacks winger Julian Savea scores his second try and New Zealand’s fourth try of the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

France’s Louis Picamoles scores his side’s first try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

All Blacks winger Julian Savea runs in to score his team’s third try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

New Zealand winger Nehe Milner-Skudder breaks through the French defence to score his side’s second try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

New Zealand hooker Dane Coles has lock Sam Whitelock in support during their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

All Blacks second five-eighth Ma’a Nonu is tackled by Remi Tales of France during their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter rinal match at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

You beauty! New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick dives over to score the first try during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter final against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick scores the first try of the 2015 Rugby World Cup quartefinal against France at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

All Blacks centre Conrad Smith fends off France’s Bernard Le Roux in action during their 2015 Rugby World Cup quartefinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder is tackled during the New Zealand-France Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium.

All Blacks No 8 Kieran Read is double-teamed in a tackle by two French defenders during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

All Blacks perform the haka before their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

All Blacks perform the haka before their 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

A New Zealand fan gets in the mood before the 2015 Rugby World Cup quartefinal match against France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

New Zealand and France fans face-off before the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen talks on his phone before the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter final between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

All Blacks first five-eighth Dan Carter practices his kicking before the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter final between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

All Blacks first five-eighth Dan Carter warms up ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter final between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, United Kingdom.

New Zealand fan poses outside the stadium before All Blacks-France Rugby World Cup quarterfinal at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Scarves on sale outside Millennium Stadium before the New Zealand-France 2015 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in Cardiff.

French fans pose outside the Millennium Stadium before the France-New Zealand Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in Cardiff.

French fans on their way to Millennium Stadium for the France-New Zealand Rugby World Cup quarterfinal in Cardiff.

A rugby fan at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, has an eye in each camp for the All Blacks vs France Rugby World Cup quarterfinal.

Kitson suggested the Springboks should be worried about next week’s semifinal.

“Their next opponents, South Africa, will offer a rather stiffer challenge than France were able to do but the Springboks are not in the same league in terms of making neutrals gasp at the quality of their execution.

“New Zealand scored four tries in the first half alone and three of them, in their different ways, ranked alongside any of the excellent scores previously seen at this spectacular tournament. To be in Cardiff to witness them was to be simultaneously entranced and grateful.

“….Talk about southern comfort. At least the 2015 World Cup party has embraced all-comers off the field. This was a Cardiff rugby weekend in excelsis: French, Kiwis, Argentinians and Irish pouring into city pubs along with the half of Wales who were not actually at Twickenham. Had more of them been able to gain entry, rather than standing in the street, the bar profits would have been monumental. Not only were people watching from outside through the windows they were even doing so from the pavement on the other side of the road.

“The chasm separating New Zealand at their best from the pedestrian European majority is wider still.”

In The Telegraph, Oliver Brown delighted in the festival approach the All Blacks applied as the floodgates broke.

“The All Blacks were in full Harlem Globetrotters mode as they passed this litmus test of their title credentials without skipping a beat,” he wrote.

“Champions-in-waiting? On this evidence, we had better believe it. As unconscionably dominant as the All Blacks are, with a win rate of 92 per cent under Hansen, they are also no longer prisoners of their own past.

“In France’s defence, there was not a team on the planet that could have lived with New Zealand here. From one to 15 the defending champions were peerless, with the back division by turns wonderfully subtle and unanswerably destructive.

“Take Dan Carter, who fashioned the most delicate sleight of hand in offloading for Julian Savea’s first try. Or wing Nehe Milner-Skudder, who zig-zagged through the French with the dreamiest side-steps. Or even Savea himself, who resembled Popeye after a few cans of spinach in flattening three defenders en route to his second score of a wondrous hat-trick.”

Naturally the significance – and manner – of the All Blacks’ win wasn’t lost on the South African media as they looked ahead to the Springboks’ semifinal with New Zealand.

“It will be the match-up many would have been hoping for,” Craig Lewis wrote on Keo.co.za.

“Let’s celebrate a rugby masterclass that will go down in the annals of World Cup history.

“The Boks will have a mountain of work to do if they are to have any hope of emerging victorious against the Kiwis. In fact, some might suggest it will require a miracle for them to progress to the final because as unconvincing as the Springboks may have been against Wales, it was a completely different state of affairs in Cardiff.

“New Zealand were classy, clinical and a cut above the rest. Take your pick of adjectives, this is the way rugby should be played and celebrated. A near 50-point victory against a top team in a World Cup quarterfinal is some achievement, and one that deserves unending plaudits.

“Throughout the pool stage, the All Blacks gave the impression that they were simply in cruise control, but they moved into top gear against France, and the result was as brutal as it was effective.”

The Wallabies may have been the form team of pool play but even the Austrlaian media couldn’t ignore this All Blacks playoffs performance.

“Defending champions New Zealand answered any lingering questions about its apparent lack of form,” reported Fox Sports.

“New Zealand will play a semifinal next weekend against the Springboks and, on this form, will be a hot favourite.”

The Australian newspaper talked up Carter’s performance and the improved forwards effort.

“Carter was a master puppeteer, pulling the strings to make France dance the way he wanted.

“His restarts were with such pinpoint accuracy that the All Blacks were able to win them all. Each time he ran with the ball he attracted two or more defenders opening up spaces out wide and his tackling was ferocious as it was for all the All Blacks.

“Their pack which had creaked during pool matches, burst into life controlling the collision area and claiming three French lineouts.”


 – Stuff

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