Wednesday 18 September 2019

Conor O'Shea's Italy suffer All Blacks backlash

New Zealand's Jordie Barrett scores a try. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
New Zealand's Jordie Barrett scores a try. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

New Zealand smashed Italy 66-3 in Rome on Saturday, finishing their European tour with an 10-try romp and leaving coach Steve Hansen with plenty to consider as he looks to settle on a squad to defend their World Cup title next year.

Hansen retained just four players from the starting team that lost to Ireland last week, and a few of his new picks took full advantage of the opportunity.

Winger Jordie Barrett scored four tries and man-of-the-match Damian McKenzie, whose selection at fullback has been questioned by rugby pundits at home, scored three.

Fly-half Beauden Barrett, seldom under the kind of pressure he felt last week in Dublin, also scored a try before being substituted in the second half. He opened up the Italians with sharp passing and some clever kicks, including one that picked out his high-flying brother Jordie to score in the corner.

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