The All Blacks kept their unbeaten streak alive with a convincing 42-10 win over Italy last night, despite a courageous showing from their hosts.
A stirring haka from the world champions was in keeping with the stunning scene at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, and the feisty Italians did all they could to lift in the historic venue.
Playing with increased accuracy following their hot-and-cold performance against Scotland the previous week, the All Blacks moved out to a 13-nil lead before the home side sent the passionate crowd in to raptures, midfielder Alberto Sgarbi crossing for Italy’s first points of the game.
13-7 at halftime was a fair indication of the encounter, with the hosts playing out of their skins, and they started strongly in the second stanza too.
But the All Blacks were too fit, too patient, and had too much x-factor, and when Corey Jane scored with 12 minutes of the match remaining the floodgates opened.
The All Blacks piled on another two tries before the final whistle, but the Italians can take heart from their brave performance, proving much stiffer competition for the world champions than the Scots had the week before.