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New Zealand crush France 52-11 after Gabrillagues yellow

The All Blacks ran in seven second-half tries to hammer France in the first Test at Eden Park, as a controversial yellow card proved costly for Les Bleus.

New Zealand crush France 52-11 after Gabrillagues yellow
Getty Images

New Zealand preserved their fearsome record at Eden Park by claiming a 52-11 win in the first Test against France, who endured a second-half collapse after Paul Gabrillagues was controversially sin-binned.

Unbeaten at Eden Park since losing to France 24 years ago

The All Blacks have famously not lost at the Auckland venue since a stunning 1994 defeat to Les Bleus, who threatened a similar shock for periods early in Saturday's contest.

France were ahead 11-8 at half-time, capitalising on an uncharacteristically sloppy start from the All Blacks, but the game turned when lock Gabrillagues was shown a yellow card for a tackle on Ryan Crotty that appeared legal but was ruled to be high.

New Zealand used their extra man to full effect as they took the game away from France, running in seven second-half tries in a rampant showing.

The emphatic nature of the scoreline belied France's admirable effort in the first half, but they will hope for a much better display of character in the second Test of the three-match series in Wellington next week.

Jordie Barrett spurned an early opportunity for the All Blacks when he pushed a fifth-minute penalty wide and soon after France were ahead.

New Zealand wing Ben Smith looked to have swept up a loose ball following a Teddy Thomas break, but he was beaten to it by Remy Grosso, who caught everyone cold and raced away to dot down.

The conversion was missed and Beauden Barrett cut the gap to two points with his boot, only for Morgan Parra to respond in kind after Aaron Smith was pinged for not releasing in the tackle.

However, New Zealand levelled matters in style as all three Barrett brothers were involved their first try. Beauden Barrett started the move and finished it by diving over in the left corner after Jordie Barrett linked up brilliantly with Crotty.

France ahead at break before yellow turns tie in hosts' favour

Parra edged France back in front with a superb penalty from just inside his own half and Les Bleus were able to take the advantage to the interval through a mixture of fortune and outstanding defence.

New Zealand had the penalty advantage when Anton Lienert-Brown finished off another attack, but his try was chalked off by the TMO for obstruction before France withstood a barrage of pressure on their line following the subsequent line-out to go into the break with a slender lead.

Beauden Barrett levelled with a penalty and, after Gabrillagues saw yellow for a tackle that looked clean, sent a grubber kick that Codie Taylor got to ahead of a hesitant Thomas.

Taylor was involved again as the result was effectively sealed, getting on the end of a Crotty break to put Ben Smith over.

A Rieko Ioane double was sandwiched by long-range efforts from Damian McKenzie and Ngani Laumape, the wing's second an interception, and Ardie Savea bundled over to have the final say in a ruthless attacking performance.


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