You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

All Blacks ready for Ireland rematch

NZN 12/11/2016 Mark Bendeich

New Zealand's 10-try rout of Italy helped put the disappointment of a first loss to Ireland behind them and prepared the team for a shot at redemption in Dublin, according to the All Blacks.

The world champions suffered their first defeat at the hands of the Irish in 111 years, losing 40-29 in Chicago last week in a match that ended the All Blacks' record tier-one run of 18 consecutive Test wins.

With coach Steve Hansen making 12 changes from the team that lost in Chicago, they responded on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) by scoring five tries in each half to thrash the Italians 68-10 in Rome.

"We needed to bounce back this week after a disappointing game by All Black standards last week," stand-in captain Sam Cane said.

"We all gelled and came together and kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout the 80 minutes, which was very pleasing."

After being exposed on defence last week against Ireland, the All Blacks were rarely challenged by Italy at the Stadio Olympico, with the Azzurri's game plan limited to aimless kicking that failed to put any pressure on the visitors.

Hansen gave little away about how the Italy game would shape selections for the Ireland rematch in Dublin next Saturday (Sunday AEDT), though he praised the performance of man-of-the-match Aaron Cruden, who dictated the game at five-eighth.

"He hasn't played a lot of rugby, so we wanted him firstly to get more match time," Hansen said.

"Secondly, (we wanted him) to do his core roles really well - his passing, kicking, running and organising - and get back into the flow of rugby again.

"As the game went on he got better and better.

"It bodes well for next week, we've got a lot of in-form people for selection, and even better, it bodes well for the future."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon