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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 10:49 GMT
New Zealand dismiss France
New Zealand lock Chris Jack
New Zealand: 40
Tries: Jack, Howlett, Rokocoko, Thorn, Muliaina, Holah
Cons: MacDonald, Carter (4)
France: 13
Try: Elhorga
Con: Yachvili
Pen: Yachvili
Drop goal: Yachvili

New Zealand 40-13 France

New Zealand strolled past a second-string French side to win a largely flat encounter for third place in the World Cup in Sydney.

The All Blacks, stung by their 22-10 semi-final loss to Australia, opted for a full-strength team and eased to victory with six tries at the Telstra Stadium.

Locks Chris Jack and Brad Thorn, wings Doug Howlett and Joe Rokocoko, full-back Mils Muliaina and substitute number eight Marty Holah crossed for New Zealand.

For France, wing Pepito Elhorga scored the only try despite the late bolstering of the team with some of the squad's more senior members.

Les Bleus were overpowered up front and ripped to shreds by New Zealand's dazzling back-line, aching to make amends for a disappointing World Cup campaign.

Despite turning around only 14-6 down, France were unable to live with the Kiwis, who were eager to avenge the famous 43-31 defeat in the semi-final in 1999.

New Zealand revealed their hand from the start by running the ball at every available opportunity - and as early as the fourth minute they found the first gap.

The guys have done well to pick themselves up after a pretty shattering event
Reuben Thorne
Fly-half Carlos Spencer released Howlett with his trademark no-look inside pass and the All Blacks hared upfield with slick interpassing to put in Jack. His try was converted by centre Leon MacDonald.

France clawed back some ground when scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili took over the kicking duties from stand-off Gerald Merceron, who had missed an earlier shot.

But the All Blacks were biding their time - and Muliaina's incisive break fed Howlett for the second try, converted by Daniel Carter, who replaced the injured MacDonald.

France, though, began to enjoy some possession but were unable to carve a way through, content to snatch a drop-goal from Yachvili before the break.

And it was France who began the second period on the front foot after bolstering the pack with prop Jean Jacques Crenca and lock Fabien Pelous.

They forced All Blacks centre Aaron Mauger into a fumble in midfield before firing the ball wide to Elhorga, who came off his wing to score under the posts.

We had a chance but then there were two tries in 10 minutes and the game was lost
Bernard Laporte
New Zealand hit back immediately with a simply-worked try for Rokocoko on the left wing and then a controversial score from replacement Thorn after a suspicious line-out throw.

The Kiwi settings were switched to cruise control as Muliaina rounded off a flowing back move on 60 minutes.

France brought on more fresh legs in fly-half Freddie Michalak, flanker Olivier Magne and hooker Raphael Ibanez.

But it was All Blacks substitute Holah who rumbled over to add the final sheen to the scoreline.


France: C Poitrenaud; P Elhorga, T Marsh, D Traille, D Bory; G Merceron, D Yachvili; S Marconnet, Y Bru (capt), J-B Poux, D Auradou, T Privat, P Tabacco, S Chabal, C Labit.
Replacements: R Ibanez, J-J Crenca, F Pelous, O Magne, F Michalak, B Liebenberg, N Brusque.

New Zealand: M Muliaina; D Howlett, L MacDonald, A Mauger, J Rokocoko; C Spencer, S Devine; D Hewett, K Mealamu, G Somerville, C Jack, A Williams, R Thorne (capt), R McCaw, J Collins.
Replacements: M Hammett, C Hoeft, B Thorn, M Holah, B Kelleher, D Carter, C Ralph.

Referee: Chris White (England).





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