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All Blacks thrash Fiji in second Test

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17th July, 2021
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New Zealand have completed the perfect preparation for the Bledisloe Cup by beating Fiji 60-13 in the second Test to complete a series sweep on home soil.

Recalled winger Sevu Reece completed his hat-trick by the 36th minute in Hamilton as the All Blacks racked up nine tries to one at Waikato Stadium following a week of criticism after their 57-23 first Test victory in Dunedin.

Ian Foster’s side came into Saturday’s clash under pressure, having been beaten at the breakdown in the opener before running over the tiring Fijians.

With Richie Mo’unga back in the No.10 jersey, the rejigged hosts responded with a powerhouse display by adding five second-half tries to their four in the first.

The All Blacks next face Australia in the opening match of the annual Bledisloe Cup, as they look to retain the trophy contested by the Trans-Tasman nations for a 19th successive year.

“Really impressed with the boys the way they have fronted,” All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock said.

“I feel like we’ve had a lot of growth and development and we’re really tight as a team.

“We’ll enjoy this, it took us a while to grind away.”

Debutant Samisoni Taukei’aho, a late replacement for hooker Dane Coles, came off the bench to score two tries, while Ardie Savea, Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane and Shannon Frizell also crossed for the home side.

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The All Blacks took time to settle but their set piece dominance soon told as inside centre David Havili latched onto an attacking lineout and flicked a pass behind his back to send Reece under the posts for his first try in the 15th minute.

The All Blacks ramped up the pressure after the half-hour mark, with Mo’unga setting up Reece’s second near the left corner after a dash down the wing.

After Fiji were penalised for collapsing a maul near their goal-line, Mo’unga took a quick tap and spread the ball wide to Reece who cantered over in the corner to complete his treble.

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Savea barged over from a metre out after the halftime siren and the All Blacks came off with a 29-6 lead.

Jordan crossed for New Zealand’s fifth try less than two minutes after the restart.

Prop Peni Ravai buoyed Fijian fans in the crowd by shooting out of a maul for his team’s sole try in the 49th minute, but Ioane responded a minute later for the All Blacks with another five-pointer in the right corner.

Fiji’s defences continued to unravel, with Taukei’aho and Frizell blowing out the score with tries from set piece moves.

© AAP

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