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Controversial yellow the turning point as 8-try New Zealand rout France

The All Blacks racked up 41 points in the final half hour with France unable to recover from the setback.

Image: Photosport/Renee McKay/INPHO

NEW ZEALAND RAN out 52-11 winners of their first Test against France this morning, scoring seven second-half tries.

The final score was far removed from the tightly-contested match that was on show until the 51st minute.

With the score standing at 11 apiece after France scored through Remy Grosso and the boot of Morgan Parra in the first half, referee Luke Pearce issued a controversial yellow card for a high tackle to Les Bleus lock Paul Gabrillague.

Source: Super Rugby/YouTube

Had Pearce consulted the TMO on the decision, he may well have been advised that the tackle was chest high. New Zealand ate up the man advantage, scoring tries from Codie Taylor, Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane in the sin-bin window – a period in which Ofa Tuungafasi and Sam Cane were fortunate to escape with just a penalty after a double high hit on wing Remy Grosso.

New Zealand Rugby France Source: David Rowland

By the time Gabrillague returned from the sin-bin, the All Blacks were in full flight and France were out of steam.

Damian McKenzie, Ngani Laumape, Ardie Savea and a second try from Ioane added to Beauden Barrett’s first-half try to complete a clinical 30-minute, 41-point demolition.

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Sean Farrell

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