Sunday, June 28, 2009
New Zealand put in an unconvincing display as they beat Italy 27-6 at Lancaster Park in Christchurch on Saturday. It was the lowest NZ score against the Italians in their last ten matches, and the first time theyve failed to score more than fifty points.
Joe Rokocoko, Isaac Ross, and George Whitelock crossed for tries with Luke McAllister adding three conversions and two penalties. Australian born Italian fullback Luke Mclean scored the points for his side with a penalty in each half.
The All Blacks will have been hoping for a better performance ahead of the upcoming Tri Nations, but struggled to find their rhythm and tried too hard at times.
"We put a lot of pressure on ourselves by trying to run it from everywhere and that probably reflected in the score at halftime," said captain Mils Muliaina
"There were a lot of opportunities there but we just didn't execute and it's very disappointing."
Italian coach Nick Mallet was happy with the way his side performed, and satisfied with the outcome of the three Test tour.
"Everything has to be taken into perspective. Italy is a small rugby nation...and to come on a tour like this, Australia, Australia, New Zealand, and to concede just an average of 30 points in each game is a fantastic effort," he said.
"I'm incredibly proud of them. The coaching staff were very happy with the way we hung in there.
"It was a dry night, dry ball and a very good attacking New Zealand side. We got beaten by 70 points in the World Cup so we had a lot of pride to get back.
"Conceding 13 points in the first half and 14 in the second, I'm very happy with that."
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