NZ outclass Samoa in one-off league Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NZ outclass Samoa in one-off league Test

16/10/2010 08:36:19 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand produced some razzle dazzle rugby league in the second half to comprehensively beat Samoa 50-6 in a one-off Test match in Auckland on Saturday night.

Having led 16-0 after a scrappy first half, the Kiwis unleashed some slick backline moves to run rampant over Samoa in the first ever Test between the two nations.

New Zealand's backs scored nine of the team's 10 tries, six of which came in the final 30 minutes as the visitors tired after a big defensive effort in the first half at Mt Smart Stadium.

Centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall and winger Manu Vatuvei both scored doubles, while halves Benji Marshall, Thomas Leuluai, Nathan Fien, Jason Nightingale and Lance Hohaia all touched down, as did second-rower Frank Pritchard.

The match was essentially a warm-up ahead of the Four Nations opener between the Kiwis and England in Wellington next Saturday, and while coach Stephen Kearney can reflect on plenty of positives, there were aspects of the performance he will want to address on the training paddock next week.

The halves combination of Leuluai and captain Marshall, who had a hand in most of the 10 tries, including scoring the fourth just before halftime, impressed while New Zealand's right-side attack consisting of Kenny-Dowall and Nightingale clicked nicely.

Defensively the Kiwis were solid - they missed just three tackles in the match - and they needed to be as Samoa, containing several former Kiwi internationals in their squad, came out firing.

Vatuvei had to produce a try-saving tackle on fullback Quentin Togaga'e to deny Samoa the opening try inside two minutes, and the visitors were always willing to promote the ball, even though their mistake level was high.

But New Zealand were also patchy, mixing good facets of play with poor execution.

They will also have the kicking tees out at training this week as hooker Issac Luke and Marshall missed five of their first six attempts at goal, though Luke nailed three late conversions after Marshall had been given a rest with 20 minutes remaining.

New Zealand will be much better for the hitout, and they should certainly be happier than England, who were held to an 18-18 draw by the New Zealand Maori in the early match at Mt Smart Stadium.

Having led 18-0 at halftime, England's defence could not withstand a second-half onslaught from the Maori.

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