RWC 2023

All Blacks turn on the style in spectacular 14-try show

September 30, 2023 9:01 am

[Source: Rugby World Cup]

New Zealand dominated every facet of the game to overwhelm Italy 96-17 at OL Stadium on Friday evening, taking a huge step towards the quarter-finals in the process.

In a performance that will have put the rest of the tournament on notice, the All Blacks effectively ended the contest before half-time. A devastating 17-minute first-half burst saw the three-time Rugby World Cup winners score 35 unanswered points, including a hat-trick for scrum-half Aaron Smith.

Down 49-3 at the break, the Azzurri had the briefest of respites at the start of the second half, when a flying Ange Capuozzo, roared on by the crowd, touched down in the corner.

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All Blacks captain Ardie Savea says he is proud of the ‘mahi’ or work and effort his team put in throughout the week and is proud of their achievements.

“You know we’ve got talent accross the board and we haven’t really clicked but tonight we played some free rugy and that’s how I want my boys to play, I’m just very proud tonight, we put a lot in this week and we got the rewards tonight.”

But the try served merely to reopen the floodgates, New Zealand responding with a further seven tries to give Sam Whitelock, who went past Richie McCaw as the most-capped All Black of all time, the perfect gift.

With New Zealand’s forward pack rampant and the backs at their free-flowing best, a shell-shocked Italy simply had no answer.