18 Oct 2015

International media extol All Blacks

8:50 pm on 18 October 2015

The All Blacks have a week to bask in the fulsome praise of the world's rugby pundits after their crushing defeat of France was hailed as "the best performance" of the Rugby World Cup to date.

All Blacks perform Kapa o Pango against France RWC2015.

All Blacks perform Kapa o Pango against France RWC2015. Photo: Getty Images

They beat the French by a record 62-13 in today's Cardiff quarter-final, and it has resulted in them being reinstalled as the team to beat.

English sports journalists saw little hope of South Africa stopping the All Blacks in next weekend's semi-final.

Robert Kitson, The Guardian's rugby writer, described the All Blacks performance as "pure black magic".

"The record books will show that New Zealand cruised into the World Cup semi-finals without a backward glance but give little hint of the cruel beauty of this nine-try exhibition.

"This was attacking rugby par excellence, performed by a side who prefer the stiletto to the lead piping. If they keep playing like this, the Webb Ellis Cup is heading in only one direction."

He continued, writing that South Africa would offer a stiffer challenge but they too would struggle.

"The Springboks are not in the same league in terms of making neutrals gasp at the quality of their execution."

Rory Kockott of France is dejected after defeat in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and France

Rory Kockott of France is dejected after defeat in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final match between New Zealand and France Photo: Getty

His colleague, Kevin Mitchell, was equally effusive writing thatNew Zealand were "a team of champions joined by an invisible string of excellence".

"This was a win that will make South Africa tremble between now and Saturday's first semi-final at Twickenham."

Mitchell, in particular, hailed the ongoing contributions of captain Richie McCaw and first-five Dan Carter.

"It is as easy to miss Carter's genius for surgical incisions in the most obdurate defence as it is McCaw's gift for scavenging in dark places."

Mitchell said "the best team in the world" was "advancing with the most commanding victory any team has managed yet".

In the Daily Telegraph Oliver Brown said the All Blacks had gone into "Harlem Globetrotter mode".

The All Black lock Brodie Retallick scores the first try of the match during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final against France.

The All Black lock Brodie Retallick scores the first try of the match during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter Final against France. Photo: Getty Images

"In France's defence, there was not a team on the planet that could have lived with New Zealand here. From one to 15 the defending champions were peerless, with the back division by turns wonderfully subtle and unanswerably destructive.

"Champions-in-waiting? On this evidence, we had better believe it. As unconscionably dominant as the All Blacks are, with a win rate of 92 per cent under Hansen, they are also no longer prisoners of their own past."

Georgina Robinson, in the Sydney Morning Herald, said the All Blacks had conducted a "master class" which meant they were now "unbackable favourites" to win back-to-back cups.

"South Africa had better eat their Weetbix next Saturday. This is the All Blacks' tournament to lose."

No pressure then.

The French newspaper L'Equipe described the match as an "humiliation" for France and a "total fiasco".

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