June Internationals: New Zealand v France Preview

June Internationals: New Zealand v France Preview

New Zealand will be looking to attain a series whitewash when they take on the French at Forsyth Barr on Saturday the 23rd of June.

Steve Hansen will be looking for a much-improved showing from his charges during this weekend's third and final Test. The New Zealanders were unable to make good use of their numerical advantage as they struggled to a 26-13 victory over a 14-man French outfit.

Needless to say, the world's number 1 ranked side will be looking to cap the series off with a big win and atone for what was a rather lacklustre second-half showing in last weekends encounter.

New Zealand v France
Saturday 23rd June
Forsyth Barr
09:35

To Win (80 Mins)
New Zealand 1/33
Draw 50/1

France 8/1

Handicap
New Zealand (-24.5) 9/10
France (+24.5) 9/10


New Zealand
What transpired during the second stanza in Wellington last week left punters and commentators flabbergasted. Despite being fourteen men up for the entire second half, the All Blacks who had ripped the French to shreds during the final forty minutes of the first Test could only add five points to their score while the French managed to add seven and win the second stanza 5-7.

There are mitigating factors for the dire second-half showing, however. Firstly, Steven Hansen emptied his bench a lot sooner than he usually does. Secondly, their attacking spearhead, Beauden Barret, was the man injured in a reckless challenge that saw Teddy Thomas red-carded. And finally, the French seemed inspired by the carding rather than hindered by it, with their defensive line resembling Hadrian's Wall.

Anyway, don't expect this week's game to be as tight as last week's 26-13 win. The All Blacks are generally at their most dangerous during the final Test of the June series and they will have a whole week to work with Damien McKenzie at 10 - Beauden Barrett has been ruled out due to a concussion.

France
Ah, the French. You unpredictable men, you. Having been torn apart by the Kiwis after receiving a yellow card in the second-half of the opening Test, pundits and fans alike were expecting another drumming when Teddy Thomas receive his marching orders midway through the first-half. Instead, we were treated to one of the most memorable rearguard efforts from a very spirited French side.

Whether they can replicate that display this week is a very debatable point especially considering the physical toll last weekend's defensive display would have had on them.

If the French are to be competitive again, they are going to need another blockbuster display from veteran scrum-half, Morgan Parra. The little magician was the star of the show last week as he doubled as fullback and scrum-half. And while he didn't play the full 80 and ended the match on the losing side, he still deserved the Man of the Match award in my opinion.

Verdict: New Zealand (-24.5) 9/10
Expect a big response from the Kiwis here. They're wounded and will want to end the series on a high note. I can see them taking this one by more than 32 points.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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