Rugby: New Zealand thrash France to reach World Cup semi-finals

 ]New Zealand's Julian Savea scores a try during the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter final match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Britain, on Oct 17, 2015.
]New Zealand's Julian Savea scores a try during the Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter final match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Britain, on Oct 17, 2015.PHOTO: EPA

CARDIFF (Reuters) - Julian Savea scored a hat-trick of tries as New Zealand hammered France 62-13 at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (Oct 17) to set up an all-Southern Hemisphere clash with South Africa in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals.

The All Blacks produced their best performance of the tournament, running in nine tries in an ominous display to join the Springboks in the last four after they beat Wales 23-19 in the first quarter-final at Twickenham.

New Zealand stamped their authority on the match against France when lock Brodie Retallick scored the opening try after 10 minutes, charging down an attempted clearance kick from French flyhalf Frederic Michalak.

Nehe Milner-Skudder added a second try and fellow winger Savea ran in two as the All Blacks went to the break leading 29-13, with France getting a lone five-pointer from number eight Louis Picamoles.

The All Blacks, who beat France in the World Cup final four years ago, continued their assault in the second half, Jerome Kaino, Savea, Kieran Read and Tawera Kerr-Barlow (twice) all adding tries to complete the rout.