New Zealand sent out a statement to their Rugby World Cup 2015 challengers by thrashing France by an astonishing margin of 62-13 this evening to set up a mouthwatering semi-final with South Africa.
The All Blacks were in untouchable form at the Millennium Stadium, with winger Julian Savea showing frightening power to cross three times, completing his hat-trick with this second-half effort.
Dan Carter and Scott Spedding exchanged early penalties before the Kiwis registered their first try on 11 minutes when Brodie Retallick charged down a Frederic Michalak kick and drove to the line.
Nehe Milner-Skudder and Savea touched down before the half-hour mark to put New Zealand into a commanding position, although Louis Picamoles pulled a try back for the French on 36 minutes.
But Savea incredibly barged through three tackles in the corner to give his side a 29-13 advantage at the break, and further tries for he and Jerome Kaino after the interval took New Zealand clear.
The defending champions then produced an irresistible seven-minute spell. Tawera Kerr-Barlow crossed twice after Kieran Read got in on the act as Philippe Saint-Andre’s French crumbled.
Dan Carter contributed 17 points with the boot and pulled the strings in a performance which should have South Africa worried after they only narrowly overcame injury-plagued Wales this afternoon.
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