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France-New Zealand-South Africa

All Blacks batter Les Bleus in record breaking quarter-final

New Zealand's wing Nehe Milner-Skudder (R) runs with the ball during a Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between New Zealand and Tonga at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England, October 9, 2015
New Zealand's wing Nehe Milner-Skudder (R) runs with the ball during a Pool C match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between New Zealand and Tonga at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, northeast England, October 9, 2015 AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Text by: Andy May
2 min

New Zealand scored nine tries in a sensational 62-13 Rugby World Cup win over France - and setup a semi-final clash with South Africa.

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Les Bleus were almost defeated at half-time at the Millennium Stadium following a try each for Brodie Retallick and Nehe Milner-Skudder and two from Julian Savea.

A try by Louis Picamoles had kept France in with a chance. But he was then sent to the sin-bin.

Savea completed a fine hat-trick and Jerome Kaino, Kieran Read and Tawera Kerr-Barlow (two) also crossed.

The All Blacks success is the competition's biggest victory at the last-8 stage.

France had hoped to draw inspiration from their World Cup upsets in 1999 and 2007, as well as a near-miss in the the last final four years ago, when New Zealand triumphed 8-7.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes his entire squad were responsible for such a clinical success this time.

"It was a very, very pleasing performance. Everyone from 1-23 brought something to the game.

"We can't wait for the semi-finals, South Africa are a great team and we enjoy playing them."

The outgoing French boss Philippe Saint-Andre was booed in Cardiff in a week that saw reports of team mutiny.

"Congratulations to New Zealand.

"The fans are disappointed like us, but we did the maximum we could do, we worked hard over the last three months, but New Zealand punished each of our mistakes."

Saint-Andre's replacement is Guy Noves, whose first match in charge is against Italy in February.

New Zealand and South Africa meanwhile do battle for a place in the World Cup final on Saturday at Twickenham.

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