New Zealand overcome slow start over Italy


World champions New Zealand overcame a sluggish start and a plucky Italian side to win 42-10 on Saturday.

Tries from Kieran Read, Ma’a Nonu, Cory Jane and two from Julian Savea plus 17 points from the boot of Aaron Cruden were enough for New Zealand to see off Jacques Brunel’s team, who were roared on by a capacity Olympic Stadium crowd.

Leading 13-7 at half-time, the All Blacks had to wait until the 49th minute before they registered a second try when Nonu crashed over from close range and late tries from Jane and Savea completed the victory. Italy far exceeded their tepid display against Tonga last weekend and pushed New Zealand back from the start which left a lasting impression on All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

“I’d like to congratulate Italy on playing a great game of rugby. I thought the attitude of their game was outstanding,” said Hansen. “The most important thing is that the 70,000 people will have gone home with the idea that rugby is a great game, which is better than the last time at the San Siro,” he said in reference to their 2009 clash.

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