All Blacks vs Samoa highlights: International rugby live scores, blog

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    The All Blacks’ 2017 season gets underway tonight as the host a strong Manu Samoa side at Eden Park in Auckland with kick off from 6pm AEST.

    New Zealand has named potentially their strongest available lineup, holding nothing back in their one and only hit out before facing the British and Irish Lions in the upcoming Test series, and selections for the most part were to be expected.

    The major talking points from this squad is the selection of Ardie Savea at No.8 in regular Captains Kieran Reads place, still unavailable through injury and it will be interesting to observe his performance this evening and how he combines with Sam Cane, perhaps a pointer to plans later in the season.

    Ben Smith will captain the side from fullback in Read’s absence while Codie Taylor gets first crack at the hooker position with Dane Coles absent with concussion.

    On the bench, we see two potential debutants, loose forward cover Vaea Fifita and utility back Jordie Barrett named, accompanying his brother Scott on the bench while Beauden is starting a first five, three brothers named in the side and potentially we could see all three on the park at once, which would be a first for All Black rugby, accompanying both Saveas, starting this evening.

    The Samoan side selected is also close to full strength and will likely provide a stern test for the All Blacks despite the odds offered by the TAB and many will recognise a number of players who do, or have played in Super Rugby in the past.

    New Zealand fans will recall the likes of Kieron Fonotia, Alapati Leiua, Faifili Levave and Jack Lam, while Tim Nanai Williams still plays in New Zealand for the Chiefs and Tusiata Pisi also, who was the Sunwolves regular first five in the franchise’s inaugural season last year, while Rebels fans will remember front rower Paul Alo-Emile, named on the bench this evening.

    Tip
    All Blacks by 20. I suspect that the All Blacks will have too much cohesion as a squad and greater depth on their bench and will win relatively comfortably in the end.

    Join us from 6pm AEST for kick off for what should be an entertaining and physical clash and don’t forget to have your say on the match as the action unfolds.

    A Rotundity and happy ex hooker who just loves Rugby really, oh and my kids and Kendra of course who lets me watch as much Rugby as I want, mostly. Follow Digby Ross on Twitter @Diggercane.

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    The Crowd Says (188)

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    • 10:15pm
      Derek Murray said | 10:15pm | ! Report

      The Samoans were really poor after 30 minutes. AB’s brilliant but the defensive structure completely disappeared from Samoa and, whilst I’m sure the BIL will recognise the size of their task, they will know that they will bring a defensive pressure that will mean that sort of Harlem Globetrotter rugby won’t happen. Their lineout will stack up and they’ll kick their goals too. The space the Samoans created with their pick and drive early will encourage also.

      Somebody earlier commented on the likely contrast of styles and I agree completely. Will be a fascinating, high quality test match.

      Whilst I’m trying to take the air out of some Kiwi tyres here, I am the first to admit we (the Wallabies) couldn’t live with the AB’s in that form and the gap is getting wider. I rate the BIL a chance but nobody else gets close.

      • 4:26am
        Kuruki said | 4:26am | ! Report

        The BIL defencive pressure is nothing new, the All Blacks will be expecting it and it simply gives attacking options in other areas. The Crusaders poor performance all round in that game made it look like it was an impenetrable wall, the All Blacks quality in attack will be much better then what the Crusaders dished up. Let’s see if it looks like that late into the second half when the All Blacks lift another gear and often make a tight game look otherwise on the scoreboard.

    • 8:16pm
      moaman said | 8:16pm | ! Report

      The forwards showed that they learnt some lessons from the Crusaders game as far as dealing with the Ref is concerned.
      That has to be encouraging.

    • Roar Guru

      8:05pm
      Diggercane said | 8:05pm | ! Report

      The All Blacks have routed Samoa at Eden Park this evening by 78 points to nil in the second leg of the Pasifika challenge in Auckland.

      It was quite the hit out for the New Zealanders in their only game before lining up for the first of the three tests against the British and Irish Lions next weekend, a perfect chance to gain some combinations before the series and they certainly delivered for the majority.

      It was not all one way traffic as Samoa dominated for long periods in the first quarter as the All Blacks initially struggled with some poor execution and ill discipline halting their early progress before Anton Lienert-Brown touched down to score the first try for New Zealand, albeit fortuitously as replays showed Ardie Savea knocking on from the base of the earlier scrum.

      The Samoans certainly made a few chances, Tim Nanai-Williams finding space in midfield as the new combination of Sonny Bill Williams and Lienert-Brown struggled at times early, but unfortunately the Samoans could not capitalise on their chances, including two long range penalty attempts, lacking composure at crucial moments, one such raid ending in a splendid counter attacking try to Beauden Barrett, started from captain Ben Smith on his own goal line.

      The All Blacks would score two more before halftime, one a superb set piece effort to Ardie Savea and another from a scrum also, Barrett taking it to the line to feed Williams to crash over and the All Blacks had the halftime lead by 28 points to nil.

      The second half was all one way traffic, an early try to wing Israel Dagg pushing the lead past 30 and the All Blacks would go on to score 50 points in a rampant second half, some wonderful attacking play, particularly from set piece, Beauden Barrett and Ardie Savea ending up with a brace in a comprehensive effort to thrill the crowd and blow the rust off before the Lions next weekend.

      Thanks for joining me here this evening, have a great weekend!

      • Roar Guru

        8:12pm
        Machooka said | 8:12pm | ! Report

        Thanks buddy… bit of a blow-out. Mind you better than a ‘blow-hard’ πŸ˜‰

        • Roar Guru

          8:29pm
          Diggercane said | 8:29pm | ! Report

          Indeed.

        • Roar Guru

          8:42pm
          sheek said | 8:42pm | ! Report

          Machooka,

          “Bit of a blowout”? Master of the understatement.

          Great advert for international rugby. NOT!

          WR might have to consider country of origin, especially the Pacific Islands.

          Maybe Fiji, Samoa & Tonga should see how many players of their heritage they can get back playing for them instead of as mercenaries for hire elsewhere, especially increasingly in Australia.

          • 8:52pm
            moaman said | 8:52pm | ! Report

            Sheek….How many Samoans (ie Samoa-born Samoans) are playing in or for Australia?
            They have a small population to begin with so it’s difficult for them to compete with larger and more populous countries…especially when their players ply their trade abroad.

            But by making it ‘country of origin’ as you suggest would mean, of course, stripping them of all their kiwi players.That would be disasterous.

          • 9:12pm
            Quin said | 9:12pm | ! Report

            Sheek 11 of Samoas starting 15 were NZ born and raised, all bar 1 player of Samoan heritage who played for the All Blacks was NZ born.
            At the current U20s World Cup the large majority of the Samoan team are New Zealanders born and raised…

            • Roar Guru

              9:50pm
              sheek said | 9:50pm | ! Report

              Okay,

              I get that.

              • 10:40pm
                Daveski said | 10:40pm | ! Report

                How about great-great grandfathers country of birth Sheek? Scotland and Samoa may well fight out the next Rugby World Cup final.

                This is tongue n cheek, I get your point. Maybe not a great advert for international rugby but a great advert for ABs strength. And I doubt very much this was Samoa’s strongest team. Maybe the 5yr residency rule will at least slow the Fijian expatriation.

              • 9:17am
                Shaun said | 9:17am | ! Report

                Why do people say that it is not a great advert for international rugby?!?!
                Aside from the All Blacks, world rugby has never been so competitive! And having a side to chase that is likely to go down as the best side in history can only create more excitement about the game.

          • 10:08am
            Whakaata said | 10:08am | ! Report

            Why do so many punters, generally Non New Zealanders always complain about players of Samoan heritage playing for NZ.

            1. 6 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage who played last night were NZ born.
            2. 1 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage moved to New Zealand as a child at the age of 4
            3. 7 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage learned all their rugby in NZ
            4. 7 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage are all products of the NZ system
            5. 0 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage had any input from the Samoan Rugby Union
            6. 0 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage are forced to play for NZ
            7. 7 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage chose to play for their country NZ
            8. 7 of 7 All Blacks of Samoan heritage are NZ citizens

            This misconception that because they are of Samoan extraction means that they should play for Samoa is nonsensical. 11 of last nights Starting XV were NZ born raised and educated players. The NZ rugby system is what developed them not Samoa, not the SARU.

            SBW is half white for example, so Samoa has no more claim to him than New Zealand, he only got a Samoan passport when he wanted to go play in France.
            Tim Nanai-Williams opted to play for New Zealand first but once he realised he wasn’t going to crack the ABs he switched allegiance using the Olympic Loophole. Nanai-Williams another player born and raised New Zealander of Samoan heritage.

            Sure more could be done to help the Pacific Islands but what many people overlook is the fact that a very large portion of Samoan rugby players are from New Zealand. Samoan rugby would not be what it is today without the NZ raised players.

            New Zealand rugby pushed for eligibility to be relaxed around ex AB stars so they could turn out for the Islands and World Rugby smacked that down in 2010. World Rugby has since extended the eligibility criteria for foreign born players to turn out for their adopted country so will we see more guys throwing their hats in with the Pacific or will they leave NZ and Australia earlier.

            Make no mistake many of the players who are turning out for the islands in recent times are products of foreign systems, many of the players aren’t even born in the country that they represent. That doesn’t make them less Pi it does however make them citizens of another country.

      • 9:05pm
        Zero Gain said | 9:05pm | ! Report

        That is just cruel. What is the point? The ABs can beat many first level teams by 50, why pick on Samoa?

    • Roar Guru

      8:02pm
      Kia Kaha said | 8:02pm | ! Report

      Love your work Digger. Chiefs, I mean ABs by plenty. πŸ˜‰

      For such a young kid, I love the fact that ALB has shaken off his indifferent form and put in a really impressive performance tonight. Goes to show the faith / loyalty Shag instils in the squad has its benefits. A few outlier rookies are in the mix but really this environment where players are allowed to prove their form at test level is ostensibly a dangerous approach. But not when the players repay that loyalty on the field.

      I still think Crotty is a better fit at 12 but much depends on his ribs. The Lions will be sure to target him if he does play so he better be completely fit. The good thing if SBW does play is that he has played with ALB before but Gatland will be targeting that channel if he does start next week.

      I have a sneaking suspicion that tonight’s blowout will force Gatland into confirming the suffocating pressured approach is the best way. And perhaps he has a point. I know Ireland played positive rugby in Chicago and the BIL’s last test was a brilliant attacking one. If Gatland is deliberately keeping his powder try, I’ll tip my hat to him but it all points to a similar game plan to what we’ve seen so far.

      The clash of styles is the intrigue of this series for me. Who can impose their own will on the game? Samoa had a lot of opportunities early on but couldn’t covert it to points. Scoreboard pressure is what the BILs must aim for.

    • Roar Guru

      7:57pm
      Jokerman said | 7:57pm | ! Report

      Digger bro you need to borrow my tarrot cards man!! πŸ˜‰ Don’t be afraid of the dth card..or the tower!!

      All Blacks super fine. Perfect start. Midfield sweet as! Cheers cuz.

      Oh, when I mentioned momentum with the Lions on your other thread…its relative eh.

    • 7:57pm
      moaman said | 7:57pm | ! Report

      Wow.
      Samoa really took it to the ABs that first 25-30 minutes.Thought they were outstanding and was really glad that NZ was having this shake-down game and not performing like that next week.
      SBW was having a terrible game at that point and it was all loooking really rusty and pedestrian.
      Then there was that superb set piece try that saw Ardie S go over! Wow! That was an awesome bit of teamwork.

      The whole game changed after that and you had to feel for the Samoan boys…they didn’t deserve to be 28-0 down in the blink of an eye.
      Lots to think about there-a lot of good stuff.Thought Dagg was effective, ALB had a top 2nd half, SBW improved, J Savea was very good–some deft touches and passes….Retallick!! Great to see him back….I could go on and on….

      • 8:07pm
        Garth said | 8:07pm | ! Report

        Samoa really blew the rust off the ABs in that first 30.

    • 7:56pm
      In Brief said | 7:56pm | ! Report

      I was wondering if there was any rugby on this afternoon – there was nothing mentioned on The Roar and only Saturday matches listed on Foxsports. So didn’t bother looking – flicked on the TV a moment ago and this match had just finished. No wonder rugby is dying in this country – the promotion of ALL rugby is a joke.

    • 7:56pm
      Highlander said | 7:56pm | ! Report

      Nice digger……tired keyboard fingers tonight ?

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