New Zealand too strong for Italy

Italy went down fighting 66-3 to a New Zealand team looking to make a statement following their defeat against Ireland.

Italy went down fighting 66-3 to a New Zealand team looking to make a statement following their defeat against Ireland.

It took ten minutes for New Zealand to open their account when TJ Perenara crossed for his 11th international try.

Italy responded with a penalty from the boot of fly-half Tommaso Allan but with 18 minutes on the clock New Zealand scored again after Patrick Tuipulotu battered through the Italian defence to set up Damian McKenzie.

Beauden Barrett began to assert his influence when he poked through a neat little kick for McKenzie to touch down and double his tally to give New Zealand their third try of the afternoon.

The full-back then turned provider for the effervescent New Zealanders’ fourth try spreading the ball wide to Jordie Barrett on the wing to get in on the act.

The All Black’s fifth try was all about the Barrett brothers who linked up almost telepathically when the No. 10 dropped a perfect cross field kick on top of the winger to cross for his second.

Three out of five conversions from the boot of Beauden Barrett meant the score at half-time was 31-3 and already well out of the Italians’ grasp.

Italy became their own worst enemies in the second half leaking two more tries in the first five minutes.

McKenzie completed his hat-trick to bring up the All-Blacks half century of points in as many minutes.

With just under five minutes left on the clock Jordie Barrett completed his hat-trick too benefitting from another lovely kick before going one better than McKenzie and finishing off another to make it his fourth and New Zealand’s tenth.

Player watch – Jake Polledri

The powerful back-rower was up against it defending against the onslaught of New Zealand attacks.

Despite the score he managed to contribute 14 tackles, more than any other player on the pitch.

He also made more metres with the ball for the Azzurri than any other player, barring the scrum-half Tito Tebaldi.

Key Moment

When Beauden Barrett picked out brother Jordie on the touchline with an inch-perfect cross-field kick, you knew New Zealand were well and truly at the party.

The move showed that even if the pair are 50 metres away from each other they can still link up seamlessly.

The score was also the All Black’s third try of the first half and put the game beyond any doubt.

Stats Watch