Laporte offers few excuses after Kiwi demolition

France 6 - New Zealand 45
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The Independent Online

From the corporate boxes to the cheapest seats in the house, the home crowd booed France off the pitch after this savage defeat here with only a handful, including the imperious Olivier Magne, bothering to stand around and see Tana Umaga lift the Dave Gallaher trophy, so called in memory of the captain of the 1905 All Black "Originals", who died at Passchendaele during the First World War in 1917.

The statistics speak for themselves as the All Blacks ran in five tries with the outstanding No 10 Daniel Carter showing up his opposite number, Julien Peyrelongue, by scoring 25 points including a try, leaving France with just two Frédéric Michalak penalties to show for their efforts.

"They were quicker, faster and physically stronger than us," said the France coach, Bernard Laporte. "I could not ask more of them. They gave their all." Laporte bemoaned the fact that he did not have the same array of youthful talent, in players such as Daniel Carter and Conrad Smith, that the All Blacks had to draw on.

Graham Henry by contrast was a very pleased. "The boys' attitude was absolutely first rate and against a better side than the England one we played earlier this year they expressed themselves brilliantly. I am exceptionally happy," Henry said.

Umaga, though, summed up what it meant to him. "We cannot take Dave Gallaher's body home because he is buried here but it means a lot to take the trophy home in the memory of that great man and hero."

France: Penalties Michalak 2. New Zealand: Tries So'oialo, J Collins, Carter, Kelleher, Nonu; Conversions Carter 4; Penalties Carter 4.

FRANCE: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse); A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), T Marsh (Clermont Auvergne), B Liebenberg (Stade Français), C Heymans (Toulouse); J Peyrelongue (Biarritz), F Michalak (Toulouse); I Harinordoquy (Biarritz), O Magne (Clermont Auvergne), S Betsen (Biarritz); J Thion (Biarritz), F Pelous (Toulouse, capt); P De Villiers (Stade Français), W Servat (Toulouse), S Marconnet (Stade Français) Replacements: Y Jauzion (Toulouse) for Marsh, 20; O Milloud (Bourgoin) for Marconnet, 27; S Bruno (Sale) for Servat, 38, De Villiers, 48), P Papé (Bourgoin) for Thion, 52; J Bonnaire (Bourgoin) for Harinordoquy, 65; C Dominici (Stade Français) for Rougerie, 67; M Barrau (Agen) for Michalak, 68.

NEW ZEALAND: M Muliaina (Blues); D Howlett (Blues), C Smith (Hurricanes), T Umaga (Hurricanes, capt), J Rokocoko (Blues); D Carter (Crusaders), B Kelleher (Chiefs); R So'oialo (Hurricanes), R McCaw (Crusaders), J Collins (Hurricanes); N Maxwell (Crusaders), C Jack (Crusaders); C Hayman (Highlanders), A Oliver (Highlanders), T Woodcock (Blues) Replacements: K Mealamu (Blues) for Oliver, 50; A Williams (Blues) for Maxwell, 50; M Nonu (Hurricanes) for Howlett, 55; G Somerville (Crusaders) for Woodcock, 61; A Mauger (Crusaders) for Smith, 65.

Referee: A Rolland (Ireland)