Italy 9-47 New Zealand: Record falls as All Blacks crush Crowley's Azzurri

By Sports Desk November 06, 2021

New Zealand extended their 100 per cent winning record against Italy to 15 games as they scored a crushing 47-9 win in Rome – setting a record for the most points in a calendar year.

The visitors, who named an entirely different line-up to the side that swept past Wales last week in Cardiff, were held scoreless in an error-strewn opening 25 minutes. However, the eventual drubbing meant New Zealand took their 2021 points haul to 675, beating the previous best of 658 set in 2007 by South Africa.

Finlay Christie broke the deadlock when he scrambled in after the All Blacks pushed the Azzurri back at a scrum. Dane Coles added a second moments later as New Zealand power won out again, and the same player grabbed a third shortly before half-time too.

Italy, in action for the first time since losing all five of their games in a dismal Six Nations showing, had new coach Kieran Crowley – a former All Blacks full-back– at the helm.

A pair of penalties from Paolo Garbisi put them on the board, and he added a third after the interval to briefly trim New Zealand's lead to 12 points, but Sevu Reece bounded through tiring blue jerseys for a fourth All Blacks try just after the hour, with Asafo Aumua grabbing a late close-range double and Hoskins Sotutu dashing down the wing to pile on the points.

Richie Mo'unga missed the conversion attempt from Aumua's second try, having successfully booted the extras for each of the previous five-pointers.

New Zealand, having beaten the United States, Wales and now Italy, face two more games on their tour, against Ireland in Dublin next Saturday, followed by France on November 20 in Paris.

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