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Dominant All Blacks march on

New Zealand underlined their status as World Cup favourites with an emphatic 37-17 demolition of France at Eden Park.

The All Blacks had established a 19-0 lead by the end of the first quarter with the try-scoring bonus point arriving just 55 seconds after the interval.

Israel Dagg crossed twice while Adam Thompson, Cory Jane and Sonny Bill Williams also breached the whitewash in a surprisingly easily victory.

The boot of fly-half Dan Carter completed the rout in Auckland as New Zealand - led by Richie McCaw, who won his 100th cap - maintained their record of having never lost a World Cup group match.

Maxime Mermoz and Francois Trinh-Duc ran in tries for France but it was a disappointing performance from Marc Lievremont's side.

It had been suggested that Lievremont had selected a weakened line-up for the toughest game of Pool A and the most eagerly awaited showdown of the World Cup's group stage.

Much of the attention focused on the selection of Morgan Parra at fly-half, but he was surrounded by mediocrity and only the arrival of reinforcements from the bench evened the contest.


From Belfast Telegraph