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November internationals: All Blacks backline muscle too much for Italy in Rome

New Zealand broke the Italian resistance with surging second-half tries from Ma’a Nonu, Cory Jane and a Julian Savea double.

New Zealand's Kieran Read, center, celebrates with teammate Conrad Smith after scoring a try.
New Zealand's Kieran Read, center, celebrates with teammate Conrad Smith after scoring a try.
Image: AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

ITALY TESTED THE patience and fortitude of the all-conquering All Blacks before succumbing to an avalanche of second-half tries and losing 42-10.

New Zealand travelled to Rome looking to stretch their unbeaten run to 19 games and hit the front after 12 minutes through an Aaron Cruden penalty.

The home side battled back manfully but were caught flat-footed on 16 minutes when Kieran Read burst through to touch down to the left of the posts.

Cruden converted the score and added a penalty three minutes later to put his side 13-0 clear.

The Italians were not giving up without a fight, however, and Alberto Sgabri showed great power to hold off two AB challenges and stretch to touch down for a much-needed try.

Lucian Orquera added the extras and New Zealand needed Liam Messam to clean up a dangerous bouncing ball as the half ended with Italy pushing for an extra score.

Smelling salts

All Black coach Steve Hansen sent his side out for the second-half knowing that the next score would be crucial.

A Cruden penalty made it 16-7 before Hosea Gear knocked on with the tryline beckoning in the right-hand corner.

The visitors were starting to turn the screw and pressure Italy and every breakdown. With play becoming ragged, the AB’s backline took full advantage and Ma’a Nonu raced through for a challenge-sapping try to make it 21-7.

Tommaso Benvenuti and Giovanbattista Venditti looked to mount and attacking response but it was New Zealand replacement Cory Jane, on for Beauden Barrett, that sniped in next.

With the Italian’s out on their feet, the All Blacks did what they do best and twisted the knife.

Left winger Julian Savea, who scored a hat-trick on debut against Ireland in June, had pace to burn in the closing stages as he scored international tries nine and 10.

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Patrick McCarry

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