10-try All Blacks rebound from Dublin defeat by cutting loose against Italy

Italy 3New Zealand 66

JORDIE BARRETT HIT Italy with a four-try salvo and Damian McKenzie scored a hat-trick as ruthless New Zealand ended their year with a 66-3 rout at Stadio Olimpico. 

The All Blacks had been licking their wounds following a defeat to Ireland last weekend and took out their frustration on Conor O’Shea’s men with a 10-try thrashing in Rome on Saturday.

McKenzie was one of only four players to retain his place in the side and excelled at fullback after Steve Hansen gave him another chance to link up with Beauden Barrett.

The marauding playmaker crossed twice in the first half, laid on a try for Jordie Barrett — among the 11 to come into the team — and completed his treble in a devastating display from the clinical world champions.

Jordie Barrett also went over twice in the first half and added another two late on with an outclassed Italy not knowing what had hit them, an early Tommaso Allan penalty all they could muster as they suffered a 14th defeat out of 14 against New Zealand.

TJ Perenara grabbed the opening try, while there were also scores for Ngani Laumape and Beauden Barrett — who landed 10 points from the tee before he made way for Richie Mo’unga early in the second half.

Perenara took just eight minutes to score an 11th Test try, the scrum-half racing away to touch down after Italy were caught out from a set-piece.

Rampaging lock Patrick Tuipulotu laid a try on a plate for the onrushing McKenzie, who scooted away under the posts 18 minutes in after Allan’s superbly struck penalty got Italy on the board.

The Azzurri were able to catch their breath while Irish referee Andrew Brace was replaced by Pascal Gauzere after injuring his knee, but McKenzie got on the end of a Beauden Barrett grubber kick to dot down again.

Ngani Laumape scored one of New Zealand’s 10 tries. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

It was all one-way traffic and Jordie Barrett showed a rapid turn of foot to score his side’s fourth try after McKenzie fed him on the outside.

Perenara had what would have been a brilliant a second try ruled out for a forward pass, but Jordie Barrett rose above Michele Campagnaro to take a kick from his brother for his second on the stroke of half-time.

The older sibling slotted over his third successful conversion to make it 31-3 at the break and the All Blacks added another two tries within six minutes of the restart.

Centre Laumape got in on the act with a classy finish and the alert Beauden Barrett grabbed a long Italy lineout and ran away for a gift of a try before he was replaced by Mo’unga 10 minutes into the second half.

Mo’unga made his presence felt by setting up McKenzie’s third try with a clever kick and Jordie Barrett rounded off a magnificent flowing move for a hat-trick of his own, replacement hooker Nathan Harris’ kick weighted perfectly for the flying wing.

The excellent Jordie Barrett added try number 10 right at the end, Mo’unga providing the assist and converting for a fourth time as the All Blacks signed off 2018 in style with a demonstration of their incredible strength in depth. 

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here: