We expected an angry All Blacks side after their lost against Ireland last week. The poor Italians had little chance to prevent the 66-3 hammering on Saturday.
It was a total one-sided affair as the World Champions ran in 10 tries with Italy only able to put a penalty over in 80 minutes.
It was far from a perfect performance from the All Blacks with plenty of mistakes in the opening minutes of the test match.
It took eight minutes for them to get over the try line for the first of ten.
Dane Coles made a sniping blindside break and released Jordie Barrett on the right wing with Barrett feeding TJ Perenara on the inside who had the pace to make it over the line. Beauden Barrett failed to convert.
Soon afterwards, Tommaso Allan would cut the deficit to two with a penalty out on the left-hand touchline. But in the 17th minute the visitors had their second. Patrick Tuipulotu ran a beautiful line off Kieran Read’s pop pass and slipped the ball to Damian McKenzie who dotted down under the posts.
On the half-hour mark, the All Blacks had their third when Beauden Barrett put in a deft grubber kick through which allowed McKenzie to dot down for his brace.
All Blacks hooker Coles, back from a year out with torn knee ligaments, was having an impressive game and once again turned creator when he showed soft hands to put McKenzie through the gap, the full-back timing the final pass expertly for Jordie Barrett, who showed searing pace to outsprint the Italian cover defence.
The away side would have one more try before the break and it came after the hooter when the Azzurri were penalised for collapsing the maul. After taking the ball up around close quarters through the forwards from the line-out, the ball was quickly swung out to Beauden Barrett who caught the hosts’ defence napping with the cross-kick to the opposite wing for his brother Jordie Barrett to outjump his marker for the finish as the All Blacks took a commanding 31-3 lead.
It was much of the same after the interval, with the All Blacks in cruise control, scoring two quick-fire tries in the opening five minutes of the second-half. First, Read offloaded for Ngani Laumape, who side-stepped his marker to complete a good finish before Coles found Beauden Barrett with a long throw to the back of the line-out as the fly-half sped away under the posts.
New Zealand went past the 50-point mark shortly afterwards when replacement fly-half Richie Mo’unga’s chip kick through was snaffled upon by McKenzie, who claimed his hat-trick.
With eight minutes to go, the All Blacks began to really turn on the style when Laumape got the offload away for replacement hooker Nathan Harris, who put in a brilliant diagonal grubber through with his left foot for Jordie Barrett to complete his hat-trick. Mo’unga’s conversion took New Zealand up to 59-3.
The All Blacks would end with one final flourish as Jordie Barrett grabbed his fourth try of the game as superb interplay between backs and forwards once again completed the 66-3 rout.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Perenara, McKenzie 3, J Barrett 4, Laumape, B Barrett
Cons: B Barrett 5, Mo’unga 3