All Blacks second-half blitz made sure they record a 52-11 win over France at Eden Park on Saturday.
The All Blacks outscored the France eight tries to one in dry Auckland conditions.
It was the Rugby Championship best attack against the Six Nations best defence and for the vast majority, the French defence had the upper hand – limiting the All Blacks to just one try.
However, with the score at 11-all, the yellow card to France lock Paul Gabrillagues in the 50th minute ignited the implosion of the visitors.
The All Blacks went on to score 44 unanswered points to stretch their Eden Park unbeaten run to 41 games.
Codie Taylor, Ben Smith, Damian McKenzie, Ardie Savea and Ngani Laumape all scored tries in the second period, while Rieko Ioane ran in two.
French fullback Maxime Medard will have nightmares about his last-ditch attempt to block Laumape when the All Blacks replacement charged at the line.
Nine years ago, Medard was the French hero with a match-winning try when they beat the All Blacks in Dunedin, but this time he will be remembered for being sent flying as Laumape ran through him.
It epitomised a brutal turnaround by the All Blacks after France had claimed the better of the first half to hold a three-point lead at the turn.
Props Dany Priso and Uini Atonio were in the thick of the early action as France used their muscle to best the All Blacks in the scrums and mauls, while their backs were willing to run at every opportunity.
The All Blacks moved the ball from side to side as well as employing long-range grubber kicks and short chips over the backline, all to no avail.
Left wing Remy Grosso was gifted the opening try when Ben Smith swooped on the ball at the back of an unprotected French ruck.
His clearing pass, which would have put Ioane in the clear, was instead intercepted by Grosso who had an easy run to the line.
After an exchange of penalties by Beauden Barrett and Morgan Parra, the three Barrett brothers featured in an equalising try.
Scott and Jordie Barrett created space for Ryan Crotty to take the ball to the line, where Beauden Barrett finished the move.
A booming 51-metre penalty by Parra lifted France to 11-8 and while the All Blacks pounded the French line in the closing minutes of the first half, they were unable to draw level again until the introduction of Tu’inukuafe early in the second half.
In the first scrum of the second half when Tu’inukuafe was on the field, the French pack was driven back and in the following rucks and mauls the impact was the same.
His first scrum effort produced a penalty for Beauden Barrett to level the scores.
Soon the match slipped away from France when English referee Luke Pearce handed a questionable yellow card to Paul Gabrillagues for a high tackle on Ryan Crotty.
In Gabrillagues’s absence, the All Blacks scored two tries via Taylor and Ben Smith.
With his return, the game was already dominated by the All Balks and they scored further points thanks to Ioane, McKenzie and Laumape.
Beauden Barrett, having an off-night with the boot, contributed two conversions and a penalty.
France pressured the All Blacks line in the closing 10 minutes but Ioane snaffled an intercept pass to for his second try before Ardie Savea barged over on the stroke of fulltime.
Moment of the match: Teddy Thomas’ linebreak in the fifth minute of the match. The piece of play was instrumental in France’s first try and put pressure on All Blacks to up the tempo of the match.
Villian of the match: It was a tough one to call therefore we decided that the title has to be shared between All Blacks Aaron Smith for his constant bickering and referee Luke Pearce, who handed a questionable yellow card to Paul Gabrillagues in the 50th minute.
Man of the match: Teddy Thomas and Remy Grosso were marvellous outside they kept All Blacks under pressure. Captain Mathieu Bastareaud’s defence and attack in the middle was vital. While for All Blacks the bench produced a much better performance especially Damian McKenzie. However for his impeccable work rate in defence and attack our nod for the man of the match goes to All Blacks hooker Codie Taylor.
For New Zealand:
Tries: B. Barrett, Taylor, B Smith, Ioane 2, McKenzie, Laumape, Savea
Cons: B. Barrett 3
Pens: B. Barrett 2
Pens: Parra 2
Yellow card: Paul Gabrillagues (France, 50 – High tackle)
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Ngani Laumape.
France: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud (captain), 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Remy Grosso, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fabien Sanconnie, 7 Kelian Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Paul Gabrillagues, 3 Uini Atonio,2 Camille Chat, 1 Dany Priso.
Replacements: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Cyril Baille, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Bernard Le Roux, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Gael Fickou.
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), John Lacey (Ireland)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)