All Blacks Beat France to Seal Rugby Series; England, Japan Win

New Zealand shut out France 30-0 to win their three-Test rugby series with a match to spare. England secured back-to-back victories in Argentina for the first time and Japan upset Wales.

World champion New Zealand, which won last week’s opener 23-13, got tries from Julian Savea, Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett at AMI Stadium in Christchurch last night, while fly-half Aaron Cruden kicked 15 points. It was the first time France failed to score in a Test since a 21-0 loss to Scotland in 1990.

The top-ranked All Blacks, who have only lost once in their past 21 games, will seek a 3-0 series sweep when the teams meet again June 22 in New Plymouth.

In Buenos Aires, winger Marland Yarde scored two tries in his Test debut as England overpowered Argentina 51-26 to win their two-match contest 2-0. Freddie Burns, Rob Webber and Kyle Eastmond also touched down for England, which was awarded two penalty tries.

The victory gave England its first away series win against the Pumas for 32 years following a 32-3 triumph in the opener.

Japan defeated Six Nation champion Wales 23-8 in Tokyo yesterday to tie their two-match contest at 1-1. It was Japan’s first victory in the nine meetings between the teams.

The home team outscored Wales by two tries to one as inside center Craig Wing and flanker Michael Broadhurst touched down. Full-back Ayumu Goromaru also kicked 13 points.

South Africa and Samoa made the final of the Castle Lager Series four-nation tournament next weekend after beating Scotland and Italy in a double-header at Nelspruit’s Mbombela Stadium last night.

The Springboks came back from 17-6 down in the second half to beat Scotland 30-17, while Samoa defeated Italy 39-10.

After two rounds of the series, South Africa top the standings ahead of Samoa because of a better points difference and the two will play for the title at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on June 22. Scotland and Italy, who remain winless, will contest the early match.

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