New zealand began their end-of-year tour with an impressive hammering of Japan in Tokyo this morning.
Steve Hansen’s men ran in eight tries as they swept to a convincing 54-6 victory over the Japanese, who are currently ranked 15th in the world. There were some positive signs for Eddie Jones’ men and they by no means embarrassed themselves despite a failure to make a dent on the scoreboard.
22-year-old Charles Piutau was one of the stars of the show for the All Blacks, scoring two tries from the right wing, and demonstrating New Zealand’s uncanny ability to continuously unearth new gems. Sam Cane, Ben Smith, Richie McCaw, Jeremy Thrush, Beauden Barrett and debutant wing Frank Halai all dotted down too.
Dan Carter knocked over 5 conversions, with Barrett taking over the kicking duties late on to add two of his own. There was one disappointment in for Hansen, with Cane sent to the sin bin in the second half for a cynical infringement close to the All Blacks’ try-line. Elsewhere, captain McCaw performed well in the No. 8 role, while Carter showed glimpses of his play making ability.
Japan’s only scores came from Yamaha Júbilo fullback Ayumu Goromaru, who struck two penalties. Unfortunately the home side couldn’t break down the All Blacks, with several handling errors letting them down, but interim coach Scott Wisemantel will be proud of his side’s effort. Eddie Jones continues to recover from a recent stroke.
Overall, Hansen will be pleased with the All Blacks’ performance, but will certainly be expecting them to move up several gears in the coming weeks against France, England and finally Ireland on the 25th of November in Dublin.
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