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Preview: All Blacks v France (2nd Test)

Sportal.co.nz     16 Nov 2006    

VENUE & TIME: Stade de France, Paris, Sunday November 19, 9.00 NZT.

HEAD TO HEAD: Played 42 - All Blacks 31, France 10, Draws 1.

LAST TIME: November 11, 2006 (Lyon) - All Blacks 47-3 France.

WALKING WOUNDED: France has lost its leader and lock Fabien Pelous while it is still unable to call on first five-eighths Frederic Michalak. New Zealand's only injury concern relates to first five-eighths Nick Evans who has still not played on tour.

FORM: There's no doubting which is the form side of the moment after last weekend's stunning record victory by the All Blacks. The respective forwards and backs units overwhelmed their French rivals in Lyon. In the tight exchanges New Zealand dominated while its offensive and defensive play in the loose was outstanding. Too much enterprise existed in the backline as well.

WHO'S HOT: Wing Sitiveni Sivivatu made a huge impression in the game and will have defenders pondering how to shut him down. Fullback
Leon MacDonald was controlled under the French high kicks while first five-eighths Dan Carter continued to show his class. The French had a controlled performance from their own five-eighths Damien Traille but an inability to score highlighted many of the problems the side faced.

WE THINK: The French will be looking to be much more physical through the early exchanges in Paris but whether they can sustain that tactic long enough to put the All Blacks off their game is the debateable point. If this is the preferred All Blacks strongest combination then life for France may be more difficult than was the case in the first Test. Another 40 points, and possibly more, could be on the cards from this game.

TEAMS:

New Zealand 1 - Tony Woodcock, 2 - Keven Mealamu, 3 - Carl Hayman, 4 - Chris Jack, 5 - Ali Williams, 6 - Jerry Collins, 7 - Richie McCaw (captain), 8 - Rodney So'oialo, 9 - Byron Kelleher, 10 - Dan Carter, 11 - Sitiveni Sivivatu, 12 - Ma'a Nonu, 13 - Mils Muliaina, 14 - Joe Rokocoko, 15 - Leon MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 - Andrew Hore, 17 - Neemia Tialata, 18 - Jason Eaton, 19 - Chris Masoe, 20 - Andy Ellis, 21 - Nick Evans, 22 - Luke McAlister

France 1 - Olivier Milloud, 2 - Raphael Ibanez, 3 - Pieter de Villiers, 4 - Lionel Nallet, 5 - Pascal Pape, 6 - Julien Bonnaire, 7 - Remy Martin, 8 - Elvis Vermeulen, 9 - Jean Baptiste Elissalde, 10 - Damien Traille, 11 - Cedric Heymans, 12 - Yannick Jauzion, 13 - Florian Fritz, 14 - Aurelien Rougerie, 15 - Pepito Elhorga.

Replacements: 16 - Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 - Sylvain Marconnet, 18 - Loic Jacquet, 19 - Serge Betsen, 20 - Dimitri Yachvili, 21 - David Marty, 22 - Christophe Dominici.

REFEREE: Chris White (England)

Touch judges: D Courtney, S McDowell (both Ireland)

Television official: C Damasco (Italy)