All Blacks put 12 tries on Samoa in 78-0 thrashing

Robert Lowe Roar Guru

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    The All Blacks have tuned up for their Test series against the British and Irish Lions by overpowering Samoa 78-0 in Auckland.

    In their first hitout of the season, New Zealand produced some expansive rugby as they ran in 12 tries on Friday night at Eden Park.

    Five-eighth Beauden Barrett and No.8 Ardie Savea each grabbed a double, with Barrett, in his 50th Test, kicking seven conversions for a personal haul of 24 points.

    Coach Steve Hansen said it was a good start to the international season but reckoned there was plenty of work to do before the first Test against the Lions at the same venue next weekend.

    “We were playing opposition where most of the guys haven’t played for five weeks,” he said.

    “We’re not reading too much into their performance or ours.”

    Hansen said the All Blacks had managed to get some good combinations working.

    “Just about everybody that played showed nice touches at various times through the night, so it was pleasing.”

    Samoa coach Alama Ieremia said his players managed to ask questions in the opening half-hour but got punished for their mistakes.

    The former All Black said there was plenty of disappointment in how the score blew out.

    “In terms of the players, I’m are really proud of the effort that went into the first half,” he said.

    “Unfortunately, when you play the All Blacks, you get punished and we got punished very much tonight.”

    The All Blacks repelled a strong Samoan start before scoring on their first attack.

    From a lineout misthrow by the visitors, Barrett’s dab and offload led to a touchdown for centre Anton Lienert-Brown.

    Samoa were their usual physical selves and almost grabbed the equalising try midway through the opening half.

    Winger Tim Nanai-Williams’ step opened up the All Blacks’ midfield defence but the move ended with second-five Alapati Leiua’s wayward pass.

    However Leiua followed up with a break that caused more problems before Samoa paid for a dropped ball when hot in attack.

    Fullback Ben Smith, who was impressive at the back on his elevation to stand-in Test skipper, picked up the loose ball and headed upfield.

    The swift counter was finished by Barrett toeing ahead a loose offload and following up to score on the half-hour.

    From there All Blacks ran away with the game, tries to Ardie Savea and Sonny Bill Williams off solid scrums helping to make it 28-0 at halftime.

    The onslaught continued after the restart, with winger Israel Dagg finishing in the corner.

    The All Blacks produced some sweeping moves as winger Julian Savea, hooker Codie Taylor, Barrett and replacement loose forward Vaea Fifita, on debut, all crossed.

    Outside back Jordie Barrett also earned his first cap, coming on just after the hour and following brother Beauden and Scott into Test football.

    Further tries in the last nine minutes to substitute halfback TJ Perenara, Ardie Savea and flanker Sam Cane completed the rout.