Australia thrash France in first Test

Israel Folau stars as the Wallabies down Les Bleus 50-23 while New Zealand score late to squeeze past England 20-15.

    Folau scored a try of his own and played a key role in the try of the night from Nick Cummins [Getty Images]
    Folau scored a try of his own and played a key role in the try of the night from Nick Cummins [Getty Images]

    Winger Nick Cummins scored his fourth try in his last four matches to help Australia easily beat France 50-23, extending the Wallabies' winning streak to five matches.

    Hooker Stephen Moore lasted just five minutes in his first game as Wallabies captain, seriously injuring his left knee in the opening minute of play.

    The 92-Test hooker was treated on the ground after falling awkwardly while making a tackle from the side against a French attacker.

    Moore was replaced by Tatafu Polota-Nau, while flanker Michael Hooper took over as captain.

    Pre-match concerns over the Wallabies' rookie halves pair and their second row were unfounded as Nic White and Bernard Foley played strongly and lock Sam Carter was named man of the match.

    Australia opened up a 50-9 lead when Israel Folau ran 50 metres and put replacement Pat McCabe over with his first touch of the ball in the 71st minute.

    Folau also scored a try of his own and played a key role in the try of the night with Cummins finishing a backline move.

    France ended the game with two five-pointers, including a pushover penalty try on fulltime.

    Kiwis' late winner

    World champions New Zealand needed a late try from Conrad Smith to record a 20-15 victory in the first Test in Auckland as they struggled to snuff out the challenge of an understrength England side reduced to 14 men for most of the final 10 minutes.

    Their errors also continued in the second half with Israel Dagg dropping a pass with an overlap outside him, while Jerome Kaino knocked on with the tryline open after a superb kick and chase by scrumhalf Aaron Smith.

    Both sides had the opportunity to score tries in the second half but the match ultimately turned on Yarde's yellow card after he failed to roll away following a tackle on Brodie Retallick.

    Smith then scored a 78th minute try to give the All Blacks the victory that extended their winning streak at Eden Park to 32 games, and their current run of Test victories to 15 games.

    England flyhalf Freddie Burns kept his side in the match with four penalties before replacement Danny Cipriani added a 74th minute penalty for his side, who were without several first choice players following the English club final last weekend.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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