16 Jun 2017

All Blacks run riot after strong start by Samoa

10:16 pm on 16 June 2017

A sweeping 95 metre counter-attack try for Beauden Barrett broke the shackles as New Zealand romped to a 12-try, 78-0 victory against Samoa at Eden Park and sent a message to the British and Irish Lions of what to expect in eight days' time.

Beauden Barrett.

Beauden Barrett grabbed a second try in the second half. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Barrett's try, sparked after captain Ben Smith had pounced on a dropped ball on his line, was the catalyst for the world champions to take control of the game.

Barrett grabbed a second try in the second half while Anton Lienert-Brown, Ardie Savea (2), Sonny Bill Williams, Israel Dagg, Julian Savea, Codie Taylor, Vaea Fifita, TJ Perenara and Sam Cane all crossed for the All Blacks.

Barrett slotted seven conversions, while replacement first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga also kicked two conversions for the home side, but had his own try ruled out in the final minute for a forward pass.

The seventh test between the sides had been organised to help the All Blacks prepare for the British and Irish Lions series, with the first test on 24 June at the same venue.

Coach Steve Hansen had said prior to the game that he wanted to see the side begin to gel their combinations before the Lions series and for the last 50 minutes they sent a message to Warren Gatland how dangerous they are at turning defence into attack.

They also provided some stiff goal-line defence in the first half, which led to Barrett's first try when Samoa centre Kieron Fonotia dropped the ball and the home side pounced to sweep down field.

After taking a 28-0 lead into the interval, Dagg crossed just 90 seconds after the restart when the All Blacks turned the ball over on halfway and Lienert-Brown committed three defenders to give the winger a clear run to the line.

That try effectively ended Samoa's resistance and the home side ran riot in the second half, scoring virtually at will before Hansen emptied the bench, giving Fifita and Jordie Barrett their test debuts.

- Reuters