Rugby World Cup warm-up
New Zealand: (54) 92
Tries: Reece, B Smith (2), Taylor, Bridge (4), Read, Perenara, Crotty (2), Todd, Savea Cons: B Barrett (7), Ioane (4)
Tonga: (0) 7
Tries: Piutau Cons: Takulua
Current Rugby Union World Cup holders and still favourites to retain the trophy for the third successive time, ended their preparations with a 92-7 hammering of Tonga in their final warm up game before the competition starts in two weeks time.
In total the All Blacks ran in 14 tries adding 11 conversions in Hamilton as they produced a relentless performance from the start to show they have no intension off handing over their crowd anytime soon as they start their title defence with a massive game against South Africa on September 21st.
They will then play Canada, Namibia and Italy in Pool B and should set up a quarter final battle against either Scotland or Ireland, two sides that have caused the All Blacks serious problems in recent meetings.
In this game, Despite the well known Tongan Physicality, they had no answer to the home sides intensity as they were blown away by the skill and speed of the All Blacks. Winger George Bridge lead the way with 4 tries while Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty each bagged a brace. Sevu Reece, Codie Taylor, TJ Perenara, Matt Todd, Ardie Savea and skipper Kieran Read all crossing for the other tries. Barrett (pictured) helped himself to seven conversions, while he was on the pitch with Ioane converting the final four tries.
At one point All Blacks coach Steve Hansen deliberately reduced his own side to 14 men to see how they handled it, and it was during this time with the extra man advantage Tonga did cross for a mere consolation try.
The game will be a massive wake up call for the South Sea Islanders who face Engalnd as their first opponents in Sapporo on sept 22nd.
Elsewhere, Australia ended their preparations with a 34-15 win over Samoa in Paramatta, the Wallabies scoring 6 tries as Samoa produced a second half come back, but with the scores at 22-15, two late tries from Dane Haylett-petty and centre Matt To’omua ensured the wouldn’t be any upsets on the cards.
Australia start their campaign against Fiji on the 21st while Samoa will take on Russia in Kumagaya three days later.