10 Jun 2012

All Blacks start season with emphatic win over Ireland

10:01 am on 10 June 2012

All Black winger Julian Savea celebrated a spectacular first test appearance with a hat-trick of tries as New Zealand beat Ireland 42-10 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday.

Savea completed his hat-trick shortly after the break when he was run into space by Israel Dagg after another sweeping movement.

Adam Thomson and Conrad Smith also touched down for New Zealand. Dan Carter kicked 17 points.

Fergus McFadden scored Ireland's sole try; Jonathan Sexton kicked a penalty and a conversion.

The victory ensured the All Blacks continued their unbeaten run against Ireland, which now spans 25 matches over 107 years.

It also gave new coach Steve Hansen a winning start to his tenure after serving eight years as assistant to Graham Henry.

Captain Richie McCaw says the victory was a great way to start their 2012 campaign but says the team still has plenty of room left for improvement.

The second test is in Christchurch next Saturday and the final test is in Hamilton the following weekend.