All Blacks re­spond to World Cup fears with 10-try rout

The Rugby Paper - - Autumn Internationals - By ADAM EL­LIS

IN an­swer to crit­ics quick to doubt New Zea­land’s World Cup cre­den­tials, Steve Hansen’s side bounced back af­ter the 16-9 de­feat to Ire­land with a ten­try rout of the Az­zurri.

The All Blacks ruth­lessly dealt blow af­ter blow to the hosts at a rain-soaked Sta­dio Olimpico, with wing Jordie Bar­rett feast­ing him­self on four tries.

Scalded for their fail­ure to score a try in Dublin and be­ing run close by Eng­land, the All Blacks’ po­tency in at­tack had been ques­tioned.

But the back­line re­sponded mag­nif­i­cently – and quickly – to over­turn their au­tumn form with Beau­den Bar­rett of­fload­ing to scrum-half TJ Per­e­nara to open the scor­ing in the ninth minute.

Full-back Damian McKen­zie, one of only four play­ers re­tained from last week’s de­feat, then grabbed the first of his three tries af­ter be­ing re­leased by lock Patrick Tuip­u­lotu. Adding an­other be­fore half-time along to Jordie Bar­rett’s two tries in the open­ing 40 min­utes.

Lead­ing 31-3 at the break, two quick­fire tries from cen­tre Ngani Laumape and Beau­den Bar­rett con­tin­ued the fren­zied try-scor­ing.

McKen­zie com­pleted his hat-trick in the 53rd minute while Jordie Bar­rett crossed twice in the fi­nal ten min­utes.

The re­sult eases the pres­sure on Hansen but leaves Italy head coach Conor O’Shea with plenty to an­a­lyse be­fore the teams meet in their World Cup pool next year.

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