New Zealand vs Italy LIVE: Rugby World Cup result and reaction as ruthless All Blacks score 14 tries in rout

New Zealand vs Italy LIVE: Rugby World Cup result and reaction as ruthless All Blacks score 14 tries in rout

New Zealand ran in 14 tries to destroy Italy 96-17 for a bonus-point victory in Pool A and take a decisive step towards the quarter-finals at the Rugby World Cup on Friday.

The All Blacks, with lock Sam Whitelock celebrating a record 149th cap, showed no mercy at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium as Will Jordan (2), Aaron Smith (3), Mark Telea, Ardie Savea (2), Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papali’i, Dane Coles (2), Damian McKenzie and Anton Lienert-Brown scored tries -- all but one converted by Richie Mo’unga (9) or McKenzie (4).

Italy’s hopes of an upset quickly went up in smoke and they only got on the scoreboard thanks to second-half tries by Ange Capuozzo and Montanna Ioane as well as points from the tee by Tommaso Allan and Paolo Garbisi.

The result put New Zealand in second place with 10 points, ahead of the Azzurri on points difference and three points behind group leaders France, who will take on Italy next Friday, one day after the All Blacks face Uruguay.

Follow all the latest from the Pool A match below. Get all the Rugby World Cup odds here, plus the latest tips and free bets on the World Cup here.

New Zealand vs Italy - Rugby World Cup live updates

  • FULL TIME: New Zealand 96-17 Italy

  • TRY! New Zealand 96-17 ITALY (Monty Ioane try, 82 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 96-10 Italy (Anton Lienert-Brown try, 76 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 87-10 Italy (Dane Coles try, 74 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 82-10 Italy (Will Jordan try, 70 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 75-10 Italy (Damian McKenzie try, 68 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 68-10 Italy (Dane Coles try, 61 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 63-10 Italy (Dalton Papali’i try, 57 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 56-10 Italy (Brodie Retallick try, 51 minutes)

  • TRY! New Zealand 49-8 ITALY (Ange Capuozzo try, 48 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 49-3 Italy (Ardie Savea try, 45 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 42-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 34 minutes)

  • TRY! New ZEALAND 35-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 27 minutes)

  • TRY! New ZEALAND 28-3 Italy (Ardie Savea try, 22 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 21-3 Italy (Mark Telea try, 19 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 14-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 17 minutes)

  • TRY! NEW ZEALAND 7-0 Italy (Will Jordan try, 7 minutes)

The All Blacks are back! New Zealand score 14 tries to hammer Italy in World Cup rout

22:21 , Jamie Braidwood

New Zealand made a huge statement of intent with a ruthless 96-17 thrashing of Italy in Pool A on Friday, running in 14 tries at OL stadium to take a big step towards the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

Physical up front and clinical at every sniff of the try-line, the three-time champions made a mockery of the idea that a new-look Italy side might scupper their campaign with a first win in 16 meetings between the sides.

Recap from Lyon:

The All Blacks are back! New Zealand score 14 tries to hammer Italy in World Cup rout

Rugby World Cup permutations: Which teams can qualify for quarter-finals?

22:18 , Jamie Braidwood

The Rugby World Cup is hotting up as teams seek to secure their places in the quarter-finals.

The top two nations from each of the four pools will progress to the last eight, with the quarter-finals to be played on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October in Marseille and Paris.

In the event of a two-way tie, the nation that won the encounter between the two teams will progress; in the event of a three-way tie, the nation that finishes with the best points difference will finish on top, followed by the team that won the fixture between the two remaining teams.

Teams receive four points for a win, with a bonus point available for scoring four tries or more. A losing bonus point is received if you finish within seven points of your opponents; a draw is worth two points.

The third spot in each pool is crucial, too – while this will not allow teams further involvement at this year’s World Cup, it will secure automatic qualification for the next tournament in Australia in 2027.

Updated with tonight’s result:

Rugby World Cup permutations: Which teams can qualify for quarter-finals?

Ardie Savea reacts to New Zealand’s win

22:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I’m very grateful,” the All Blacks number eight says. “I’m very proud. We’ve got talent all across tonight and we haven’t really clicked. Tonight we played some free rugby - that’s how I want to play. We put a lot of work into tonight and we reaped the rewards.”

FT: New Zealand 96-17 Italy

21:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy now have to scoop themselves up off the deck to face France in seven days. It was a bit of a horror show from them tonight, defensively unable to cope with the All Blacks and with some old lineout woes reappearing at the worst possible time. Did they get the mentality wrong? Or did they never have a hope against a New Zealand side in that sort of mood?

FT: New Zealand 96-17 Italy

21:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pick your superlative - that was staggering stuff from the All Blacks, merciless in Lyon to squash any thought of an Italy upset. New Zealand fall four points short of a hundred having exhibited their lethal attacking game. The rest of the tournament are back, most certainly, on notice.

Seven tries in the first half, seven in the second - yowzer!


21:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! New Zealand 96-17 ITALY (Monty Ioane try, 82 minutes)

21:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy have the final word!

It matters not bar the final accounting but that’s a bright moment at the last from Italy, Paolo Odogwu offloading to Monty Ioane, who just about beats Cam Roigard to the corner. The replay suggests further investigation might be required with boot close to touch and ball yet to meet ground, but TMO Brett Cronan is happy, and the All Blacks aren’t in a complaining mood - obviously.

New Zealand 96-10 Italy, 80 minutes

21:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Almost! Sharp handling up the right sees long-time Hurricanes mates Ardie Savea and Dane Coles looking to connect, but the former’s offload is too hot to handle for the replacement hooker.

Italy clear up beyond halfway, where Damian McKenzie loses control on the floor.

New Zealand 96-10 Italy, 78 minutes

21:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Brilliant from Italy - but a neck roll scuppers their chances of a consolation score! Fluid play as Italy belatedly show some fight, with Federico Ruzza’s giraffe-like strides almost taking him to the line, but Ardie Savea contests two phases later and Paolo Garbisi wrenches him away illegally. The All Blacks have two minutes to get to their ton.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 96-10 Italy (Anton Lienert-Brown try, 76 minutes)

21:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another lovely lineout move and New Zealand are a score away from a century!

An arcing Dane Coles pulls back on the inside for Cam Roigard, with the rear of Italy’s defensive lineout exploited again. Roigard sets up Anton Lienert-Brown, who dots down under the sticks.

New Zealand 89-10 Italy, 75 minutes

21:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It was 101-3 when these two met in Huddersfield during the 1999 World Cup, by the way.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 89-10 Italy (Dane Coles try, 74 minutes)

21:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And then it is simply inevitable!

Beauden Barrett does not believe it worth bothering with the rigamarole of a scrum set-up, tapping and going with space evident on the right. Will Jordan ignores it as he goes in search of a hat-trick score; Rieko Ioane does not a phase later, popping out of the tackle for Dane Coles.

Damian McKenzie converts.

New Zealand 82-10 Italy, 72 minutes

21:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A chip from Beauden Barrett has Anton Lienert-Brown in pursuit but the bounce of the ball is friendlier to Italy this time, with Monty Ioane gathering.

The All Blacks cut Italy open soon enough, though, McKenzie scurrying away. Italy are pinged five metres from their own line...

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 82-10 Italy (Will Jordan try, 70 minutes)

21:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Will Jordan helps himself to a second helping from the buffet!

Italy spill near halfway on the left, and Jordan is swiftest to the loose ball. His chip ahead appears set to be smothered but Paolo Garbisi gets a horrible bounce, left stranded as the ball floats over his head.

Ardie Savea rises to collect, and though Garbisi fells him, Jordan is all alone in support. The All Blacks are into the 80s and accelerating again.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 75-10 Italy (Damian McKenzie try, 68 minutes)

21:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Damian McKenzie forces his way over!

The All Blacks scrum opts for stability, allowing Cam Roigard to whip the ball away. Anton Lienert-Brown darts inwards and flips the ball up for Damian McKenzie darting outward, with Beauden Barrett an outside option holding Juan Ignacio Brex. That leaves McKenzie one-on-one with Paolo Garbisi, who can’t cling on to the dynamic replacement. McKenzie converts his own score.

New Zealand 68-10 Italy, 66 minutes

21:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another win against the head for the replacement All Blacks scrum row, with Tamaiti (pronounced Ta-mighty) Williams living up to that billing by pushing Simone Ferrari back all of seven yards. New Zealand opt for the scrum option with the penalty theirs.

New Zealand 68-10 Italy, 65 minutes

21:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

McKenzie is immediately instigating things in attack, unfurling a delectable pass out to Will Jordan and then working hard to collect his wing’s infield offload. Beauden Barrett is there in good support, too, to keep the ball alive.

McKenzie has hands on ball at first receiver once more as the All Blacks settle into shape, as does Sam Cane - but only briefly. The flanker takes his eyes off it and drops the ball cold.

New Zealand 68-10 Italy, 64 minutes

21:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Martin Page-Relo searches for a runner and finds none. Mark Telea engulfs him, sucking the scrum half into a black hole of waiting teammates from which the ball will not emerge.

The All Blacks empty their bench. Damian McKenzie is on at fly half for Richie Mo’unga and Anton Lienert-Brown replaces Jordie Barrett, outstanding tonight, at 12.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 68-10 Italy (Dane Coles try, 61 minutes)

21:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle


The All Blacks have shown wonderful variation from the lineout tonight, reaching into their bag again for something funky at the front. Italy pour bodies in to batten down the hatches as the maul forms, but Sam Cane loops to the left and into space.

Martin Page-Relo probably has Cane covered but Paolo Odogwu is unaware, stepping in and leaving Dane Coles to trot down the tramlines untouched.

New Zealand 63-10 Italy, 60 minutes

21:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Tyrel Lomax properly, properly annihilates Ivan Nemer at scrum time. New Zealand return to Italy’s 22 as Paolo Odogwu replaces Tommaso Allan. Ange Capuozzo will go to full back and the former England squad member to the wing.

New Zealand 63-10 Italy, 58 minutes

21:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

All Blacks captain Sam Cane is going to get 20 minutes or so, on in the back row for Papali’i as he steps up his recovery from injury. Dane Coles, a returning Tyrel Lomax and Tamaiti Williams have joined affairs, too.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 63-10 Italy (Dalton Papali’i try, 57 minutes)

21:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No doubt about this one!

The shaky set-piece costs Italy again. Codie Taylor is quickest to react to Faiva’s over-eager lineout toss, passing on to Mark Telea. Telea brushes off a tackler and offloads to Dalton Papali’i, who rather niftily clings on with the ball at his hamstring, the flanker making sure he’s got a firm grasp of the ball as he keeps the legs churning through Ange Capuozzo’s attempted tackle.

No try! New Zealand 56-10 Italy, 55 minutes

21:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No try! A double movement from Roigard, first rolling and then placing, with referee Matthew Carley not satisified that the first tumble was solely down to momentum, as Ardie Savea tries to argue. Italy’s penalty - though Hame Faiva overthrows the lineout...

New Zealand 56-10 Italy, 55 minutes

21:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Beauden Barrett kicks for Mark Telea, who is denied by a leaping Ange Capuozzo, cutting off the crosskick. Capuozzo tries to run out of danger and is then hit from behind by a chasing Telea as he tries to clear, sending the ball spilling free.

Cam Roigard picks up the pieces - has the scrum half got to the line? Or is he just short?

New Zealand 56-10 Italy, 53 minutes

21:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Changes all over the place. Cam Roigard is on for Aaron Smith, who will not add to his hat-trick, and Hame Faiva, a Hurricans teammate of Roigard’s last season, has replaced Giacomo Nicotera at hooker for Italy.

Manuel Zuliani is on to the flank for Sebasitan Negri, too.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 56-10 Italy (Brodie Retallick try, 51 minutes)

21:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Whitelock immediately has a try from his long-time second row partner to celebrate!

It’s a lock party! Martin Page-Relo, on at scrum half for Italy, takes an age over a clearance as Scott Barrett and Whitelock approach with limbs aloft, forming a mighty twin-turreted tower which he is unable to clear. Barrett charges the kick down, Whitelock resources the ruck, and Brodie Retallick shunts his way over from short range.

New Zealand 49-10 Italy, 49 minutes

21:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

History for New Zealand, with Sam Whitelock on for cap number 149 - he surpasses Richie McCaw as the most capped All Black of all time.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! New Zealand 49-10 ITALY (Ange Capuozzo try, 48 minutes)

21:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But the backs do the job!

Italy have life! New Zealand completely stall the maul, so the Azzurri have to play wide. The All Blacks number up well but Rieko Ioane unwisely goes high on namesake Monty, who fends him away.

Wing Ioane finds full back Tommaso Allan, who sucks in the edge defender and sends Ange Capuozzo scampering into the corner. Allan converts.

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 47 minutes

21:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

He can! Niccolo Cannone at the front. The maul’s going nowheer, though...

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 47 minutes

21:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Simone Ferrari replaces Marco Riccioni. Another penalty against New Zealand - Scott Barrett thrown across at the lineout. Can Nicotera get it right?

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 46 minutes

21:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oh, Giacomo. The hooker had been perfect with his darts at this tournament until tonight but underthrows again, Shannon Frizell taking it at the jumper slot in front of the intended target. Michele Lamaro is left grasping nothing but empty air as another chance goes a-begging.

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 45 minutes

21:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s just a little bit ragged from New Zealand in these opening second half skirmishes. They miss touch from a penalty and Paolo Garbisi then gets his jackal spot on as Will Jordan unwisely goes it alone. Tommaso Allan’s kick is excellent, giving Nicotera a chance to make amends in the left corner...

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 44 minutes

21:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pinched! Giacomo Nicotera is aiming for the tail but fails to find the right amplitude, allowing a lifted Brodie Retallick in the middle of New Zealand’s defensive lineout to swat the ball back.

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 43 minutes

21:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy attack purposefully again and Brodie Retallick is offside. Paolo Garbisi kicks down to about 12 metres from the All Blacks’ line.

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 42 minutes

21:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Better! Continuity from Italy, punching over the advantage line and layering on attacking elements thereafter. Dalton Papali’i makes a bad defensive read and Paolo Garbisi surges into the open acreage, but Tommaso Allan is forced over the touchline after connecting with his fly half.

New Zealand 49-3 Italy, 41 minutes

21:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jordie Barrett is penalised for rolling into Stephen Varney and disrupting the scrum half’s ability to get the ball way from the base of a ruck. Italy kick up towards halfway.

Second half...

21:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The 30 combatants are back out there. Niccolo Cannone is on for Dino Lamb in the Italy second row.

HT: New Zealand 49-3 Italy

20:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tough to know where to go for Italy. Not a single facet of their game has worked so far and this is threatening to be the sort of scarring night that a young side really doesn’t need.

The All Blacks have just been too clever and clinical for them. The options that Jordie Barrett’s return has given their attack has caused all sorts of problems, and their phalanx of forward carriers have won pretty much every collision.

HT: New Zealand 49-3 Italy

20:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has either had an excellent Friday night dinner, or has been just as impressed with the All Blacks as the rest of us.

HT: New Zealand 49-3 Italy

20:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Well. Ruthless stuff from the All Blacks, back to their best and rampant in Lyon. Three for Aaron Smith, two for Ardie Savea, and seven tries of all kind to leave Italy searching for answers. Did we get a little ahead of ourselves talking up a potential Azzurri upset? Probably, but Kieran Crowley’s side have been very poor, and New Zealand very, very, very good.


20:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle


TRY! NEW ZEALAND 49-3 Italy (Ardie Savea try, 45 minutes)

20:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’ll please the All Blacks rather more - a magnificent seven-try first half!

Codie Taylor finds Shannon Frizell at the tail, and from there, it’s inevitable. The maul makes four of the required five metres and, when it grinds to a halt, Ardie Savea the remaining one.

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 43 minutes

20:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy infringe again. Lorenzo Cannone is off his feet before jackaling. New Zealand seem to have plenty of routes to a score regardless, though Richie Mo’unga picks the wrong one, Codie Taylor trying gamely to get to a cross kick but ending up belly flopping about a yard shy of the bouncing ball. Not one the hooker will want to see on the Monday morning review.

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 41 minutes

20:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The All Blacks play with advantage and a delicious flick out the back from Jordie Barrett finds Richie Mo’unga, but the fly half can’t quite clutch it. Back for the penalty. Mo’unga prods it into the left corner.

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 40 minutes

20:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s just relentless from New Zealand. Italy are trying to play wide but such a strategy leaves them short of breakdown numbers. Uruguay’s Manuel Ardao feasted last week and you can almost see the All Blacks licking their lips, Jordie Barrett and Savea again to the fore to win a penalty out of Ange Capuozzo. One more before half-time?

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 39 minutes

20:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cr-runch! Nepo Laulala and Brodie Retallick combine to crumple Dino Lamb as he carries in midfield. Ardie Savea soon snares breakdown ball and Will Jordan’s chip ahead has three All Blacks after it, but Retallick is deemed illegal as he contests at the ruck and Italy are reprieved.

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 38 minutes

20:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A peep of the whistle at scrum-time from Matthew Carley gives Italy a free kick, which is punted long to Mark Telea. Telea tosses to Beauden Barrett, who produces a good touchfinder from the safe embrace of his own 22.

New Zealand 42-3 Italy, 37 minutes

20:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy coach Kieran Crowley shares an almost perverse chuckle with the rest of his coaching box. What can you say? Italy arrived tonight with genuine optimism but they’ve ceded eight metres per carry and the All Blacks have cut them completely to pieces.

Crowley’s clarity in his team talk against Uruguay was said afterwards to have been key to instigating a turnaround - you fear there might just be slightly too much to do tonight.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 42-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 34 minutes)

20:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A hat-trick for Aaron Smith!

This has just been glorious from the All Blacks. It’s a beautifully conceived score, Jordie Barrett roaming out the back and assessing when best to insert himself, popping up on Richie Mo’unga’s shoulder as the fly half attacks the line. Barrett sashays into space and draws the last defender to give Smith a run-in under the posts to complete a triplet of tries - 122 All Black caps and counting and that’s his first hat-trick.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

New Zealand 35-3 Italy, 33 minutes

20:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Good defence from Italy, Juan Ignacio Brex chopping Rieko Ioane’s ankles before the outside blitz cuts down the All Blacks’ centre’s options two phases later.

Italy clear beyond halfway.

New Zealand 35-3 Italy, 31 minutes

20:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But even their own scrum feed can’t grant Italy a reprieve. Marco Riccioni is free kicked for stepping off the mark on the engagement. New Zealand fancy another midfield shove as their backs spread left and right.

New Zealand 35-3 Italy, 30 minutes

20:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

For the first time in what feels like an age, an All Blacks error! It comes after 30 metres are made with yet more ominous intent, Shannon Frizell back amongst things and prominent after a month and a bit out. But a little fumble on the floor saves Italy just outside their own 22 - though the damage is already, decisively done.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 35-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 27 minutes)

20:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Maul might, scrum half snipe - another All Blacks try!

Eek. It’s getting ugly for Italy. The New Zealand maul creeps forth inexorably, with Matthew Carley not obliged to command them to use it with that forward movement still clear. Aaron Smith simply bides his time and picks his moment, with Codie Taylor a willing accomplice at the back of the maul. Smith’s over for his second as New Zealand convert their fifth 22 entry into their fifth try. Another conversion extends the lead further.

New Zealand 28-3 Italy, 26 minutes

20:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The fourth penalty against Italy comes at scrum time, with replacement Ivan Nemer under pressure from Nepo Laulala. The All Blacks go marching on down into enemy territory again.

New Zealand 28-3 Italy, 24 minutes

20:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

You feel a bit for Giacomo Nicotera, left exposed on an island against a carrier of Savea’s unique blend of speed, stepping and size, but the Italy hooker should have done a lot better with his tackle attempt there, going low but failing to keep his legs moving.

That’s not flash from Nicotera, either - his lineout throw drifts off line.

Here’s the All Blacks score that got it all started:

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 28-3 Italy (Ardie Savea try, 22 minutes)

20:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A dummied maul and Ardie Savea saunters in!

All too easy for New Zealand. Italy pile the forwards in to try to defend the drive, but the ball is whipped away to a wheeling Ardie Savea. Savea finds rather meek opposition around the corner, a single Italian defender playing touch, and the bonus point is already New Zealand’s with little more than 20 minutes gone.

New Zealand 21-3 Italy, 21 minutes

20:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

To add injury to insult for Italy, Danilo Fischetti was helped off between those two scores in severe discomfort in his upper body. Ivan Nemer is on but fails to appropriately clear out Codie Taylor; penalty New Zealand, and back into Italy’s 22 they go.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 21-3 Italy (Mark Telea try, 19 minutes)

20:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

From coast to coast!

Oh, do the All Blacks fancy this or what? Straight from the kick off, New Zealand go the length, Brodie Retallick’s tip on putting Ardie Savea into a half-hole, which the number eight opens up into a great gaping chasm.

Off he goes, too quick for the Italian chasers to reel him in, with Beauden Barrett his closest company as Savea approaches the backfield defenders. Savea finds his full back, who spreads it wider to Mark Telea, who weaves and writhes to the line through three relatively soft tackles.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 14-3 Italy (Aaron Smith try, 17 minutes)

20:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Aaron Smith is the unlikely scorer from the maul!

Typically smart scrum half play from the veteran nine, letting the burly blokes do the heavy lifting and applying the finishing touches. Italy don’t actually defend the drive too badly initially but Will Jordan’s intelligent injection ensures they can’t get their limbs through to the ball, and Smith also wisely involves himself to make totally certain of the score.

New Zealand 7-3 Italy, 14 minutes

20:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jordie Barrett is halted in full flow by Giacomo Nicotera, who looks to take a nasty hip to the head as the inside centre changes direction at the line. Nicotera is then penalised for his failure to roll away, which perhaps feels harsh - though the hooker is back on his feet and ready to defend as New Zealand opt for the corner.

New Zealand 7-3 Italy, 14 minutes

20:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand win the kicking battle, turning Italy and asking them to play from deep. Italy oblige and run into the All Blacks trap, hands on the ball at the breakdown with Garbisi isolated and Jordie Barrett locked on. Penalty, and up the right New Zealand advance.

New Zealand 7-3 Italy, 13 minutes

20:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand’s lineout drill is efficient and they punt long. Monty Ioane swallows it up and sets off on a charge, though the All Blacks have him well handled. Mark Telea is a little bit narrow defensively on the left and Paolo Garbisi spots it, but can’t get the execution right to put Ange Capuozzo into the space apparent, the crossfield kick sailing out on the full.

New Zealand 7-3 Italy, 12 minutes

20:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Delightful from Stephen Varney. The young Gloucester nine has come into his own in recent weeks, and shows intelligence to kick quick ball into space before a lack of carriers stalls his side. The Italy scrum half pivots back on to his left boot and produces a lovely angled box kick into the corner.

New Zealand 7-3 Italy, 11 minutes

20:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s not ideal from Beauden Barrett, floating his restart a little too far as he aims for the chasing Will Jordan on the right. Italy’s scrum on halfway.

PENALTY! New Zealand 7-3 ITALY (Tommaso Allan penalty, 10 minutes)

20:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Tommaso Allan, who hasn’t missed a kick all tournament, collects a simple three points from a central position 40 metres out.

New Zealand 7-0 Italy, 9 minutes

20:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s a good response from Italy, a crunching midfield collision drawing a penalty.

TRY! NEW ZEALAND 7-0 Italy (Will Jordan try, 7 minutes)

20:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cross-kick, catch, score! The try machine has another!

Clinical from the All Blacks. This is the problem that having three playmakers causes, Italy focussing in on Richie Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett and gifting Jordie Barrett space and time. Dalton Papali’i flicks it back to him and the youngest Barrett brother lifts the sort of pitching wedge Jon Rahm might be proud of out to the right wing, where Will Jordan grabs, gathers and gallops to the corner for the score. A leap and a lunge and test try number 24 is his - with J. Barrett adding an excellent touchline conversion.


New Zealand 0-0 Italy, 5 minutes

20:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand work something clever down the right but an extended arm from Juan Ignacio Brex denies a looping Richie Mo’unga. Deliberate? The officials seem content the knock on was just in the tackle for now.

The All Blacks spread it left, where Brodie Retallick thumps over the gainline. Italy then infringe - advantage coming...

New Zealand 0-0 Italy, 4 minutes

20:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Federico Ruzza just about claws back the lineout to Stephen Varney, but the slight malfunction throws off the timing. The runner is ahead of Varney as he tosses a forward pass. An excellent chance for New Zealand, this, a scrum just right of centre, 15 metres out - after th obligatroy reset...

New Zealand 0-0 Italy, 2 minutes

20:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Italy are turned over on the All Blacks ten-metre, ending a promising attack. New Zealand immediately show their stuff, first Ardie Savea on the left and then Rieko Ioane on the right carrying strongly.

Italy’s defensive line spreads so Aaron Smith finds the spac, dropping a well directed box kick into the left corner, from where Giacomo Nicotera will throw.

New Zealand 0-0 Italy, 1 minute

20:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Beauden Barrett punts long to Garbisi, who runs it back across the halfway line. Italy immediately work into their shape, with forwards presented with multiple options. A pull-back pass gets Ange Capuozzo into a sliver of space, and the will’o’the’wisp wing makes metres. Good stuff from Italy first up.


20:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Paolo Garbisi has the ball, Matthew Carley has the whistle. A long blast on the Acme, a drop of ball to boot, and off we go!


19:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

New Zealand ready themselves in formation for the haka, Aaron Smith clasping ceremonial paddle. It’s the “Ka Mate”, rather than the “Kapa o Pango”, tonight. Italy stare the mdown.


19:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A bright and breezy version of “God Defend New Zealand”. Richie McCaw is in the house, perhaps ready for some sort of ceremonial handover with Sam Whitelock set to surpass him at some point this evening.

“Il Canto degli Italiani” is also delivered with appropriate vim, all building up the crescendo of that final roar. Can the Italians do something special tonight?

New Zealand vs Italy

19:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out the players come, New Zealand all in black, Italy in their change white strip. It looks a cracking crowd in Lyon, where all of the remaining Pool A action will take place.

Ardie Savea, captain tonight, tugs his socks up, making sure all is prim and proper as he takes his place for the anthems.

New Zealand vs Italy

19:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kick off nearing in Lyon, where it has, apparently, just cooled a little after another roasting day as France enjoys an extended Indian summer. It looks pretty sticky out there, though - keeping control of the ball has been an issue across this tournament so far. The All Blacks tend to do that better than anyone but Italy have shown an ability to combine ambition with accuracy this year, too.

New Zealand vs Italy

19:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle


New Zealand vs Italy

19:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the playmaking partnerships for both sides. Each team has opted to go with their primary ball-handlers at ten and 15, with Tommaso Allan moving back and Paolo Garbisi sliding across after the pair were at ten and 12 against Uruguay. Allan has stressed that the positional switches won’t change much about Italy’s attack but it will be fascinating to see if they can stretch New Zealand and try to get the ball in the hands of Monty Ioane and Ange Capuozzo.

Equally of interest is how the All Blacks manipulate Italy defensively. Juan Ignacio Brex is an aggressive defender in the 13 channel but can leave opportunities by shooting out of the line. I’d expect to see Mo’unga and both Barretts try to use a varied kicking game to exploit any spaces.

New Zealand vs Italy: Focus on the scrum

19:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The scrum battle tonight could be really intriguing. There is a sense that New Zealand are significantly more vulnerable without Ethan de Groot, who is suspended after his red card against Namibia, while bench tighthead Tyrel Lomax is still working his way back from that gruesome gash on his leg. Italy’s eight have gone well at this tournament, with both Danilo Fischetti and Marco Riccioni vastly improved as set-piece prop forwards.

The pair’s destruction of Uruguay’s front row was key in Italy’s comeback victory and while you’d suggest it’s unlikely they enjoy that sort of dominance again, scrum success might be vital if Kieran Crowley’s side are to push the All Blacks close.

“They’ve even gone for a six-two split, so they’ve really stacked it up and their bench looks really strong,” New Zealand scrum coach Greg Feek said of Italy’s threat. “We have prepared as best we can for what’s coming. We know the first 20 minutes it will be a good match-up. It will be a physical contest as usual.”

Match officials

19:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

You know we’ll be talking about them at some point tonight, so here are your officiating team for this evening’s fixture. Remember, World Rugby does not disclose the foul play review officials on duty in the TMO bunker.

Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng)

ARs: Nic Berry (Aus) & Christophe Ridley (Eng)

TMO: Brett Cronan (Aus)

Carley had the whistle for the All Blacks’ warm-up defeat to South Africa. Want to know a little bit more about him?

New Zealand vs Italy referee: Who is Rugby World Cup official Matthew Carley

Ian Foster agrees that ‘history means nothing'

19:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ian Foster and Kieran Crowley would have been familiar foes while playing domestically for Waikato and Taranaki in the late 1980s and early 90s, and the pair share a perspective on that Italian losing run.

“History means nothing,” All Blacks coach Foster said on Wednesday, echoing the opinion of his opposite number. “History is yesterday’s newspaper, isn’t it, not tomorrow’s.”

Foster did push back on Crowley labelling his side as “bullies”, though.

““That’s rugby, everyone is trying to do that. They’ll be trying to do that to us. It’s a physical game. It’s not a lack of respect from anyone. Both teams, there’s a lot at stake. This was always going to be a game we knew we had to get really excited about and play well in.

“The good thing is that we are playing a team that is confident, so there is no surprises. They’ve earned that. The last two years, we’ve seen a lot of growth in their game. I made the point after the Six Nations, I thought they were one of the highlights of the Six Nations, the way they played and the competitiveness of all their games.”

Kiwi Kieran Crowley plotting New Zealand’s downfall

19:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a pretty special evening for Kieran Crowley, too, with the veteran coach taking charge of Italy against a nation he represented at two World Cups. Crowley will leave his role at the end of the tournament to take up a job in Japan, with Gonzalo Quesada offering an exciting new direction for this developing Azzurri side, but the 62-year-old has done fine work both with the Italian national team and Benneton in Treviso before stepping up to the main job.

“This is a new team,” Crowley said of his side, urging them to ignore Italy’s winless record against the All Blacks. “This team has never played New Zealand and the New Zealand team named has never played Italy. Yes, there is stats, there is history but history is always there to be broken.

“We are under no illusions as to what is coming. They are going to come at us and they are going to be aggressive and they are going to try to intimidate us. They’ll try to bully us. We have to embrace that challenge.

“This group of 33 players have really matured over the last 18 months. We’ve got a lot more confidence in our ability, they back themselves, they have some courage. We have no fear. If that is going to be good enough, we will have to wait and see because it is going to be one hell of a battle. We are really looking forward to it.

“They are in a situation, same as us, they need to win to move on. So, they are going to try and impart themselves physically on us and really intimidate us, bully us. They’ll come direct and they’ll come hard. But it all starts up front. It starts with the low numbers and if the low numbers can get you on top it makes it easier for the others.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

Brodie Retallick hails long-time lock partner Sam Whitelock

19:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It will be Scott Barrett alongside Brodie Retallick tonight in the All Blacks engine room, but no locking pair has played more in partnership than Retallick and Sam Whitelock, leaving him pretty well placed to comment on the quality of his second row chum.

““Obviously, it’s his 149th game (if he comes off the bench against Italy) and to do that from a physical and a mental side, to be able to turn up each week, prepare, play the way that he does is a real testament,” Retallick said of Whitelock yesterday.

“The biggest impact he has had is he was the number one lock and had been established in the All Blacks before I was. It was the competition to keep getting better and reach his level. He has done that for so long, which is also a massive achievement.

“Even this week, even though he was named on the bench, he was still pushing everyone around the field and trying to out-do everyone.

“Playing a lot of test matches with him has been special but the competitiveness he has throughout the training week, week-in week-out, has been the biggest benefit.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Team News - Italy

19:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy coach Kieran Crowley, seeking more height in his second row to combat New Zealand’s lineout threat, brings in Dino Lamb in place of Niccolo Cannone at lock in an forward pack otherwise unchanged from the win over Uruguay. Stephen Varney is chosen at scrum-half while the backline is retooled elsewhere - playmakers Paolo Garbisi and Tommaso Allan retain their places but occupy new roles at ten and 15 respectively.

Lorenzo Pani drops out of the 23 entirely as Luca Morisi returns at inside centre. Crowley opts for a six forwards to two backs bench split.

Italy XV: Danilo Fischetti, Giacomo Nicotera, Marco Riccioni; Dino Lamb, Federico Ruzza; Sebastian Negri, Michele Lamaro (captain), Lorenzo Cannone; Stephen Varney, Paolo Garbisi; Monty Ioane, Luca Morisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Ange Capuozzo; Tommaso Allan.

Replacements: Hame Faiva, Ivan Nemer, Simone Ferrari, Niccolo Cannone, Manuel Zuliani, Toa Halafihi; Martin Page-Relo, Paolo Odogwu.

Team News - New Zealand

19:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ian Foster is able to call upon the fit-again Shannon Frizell and Jordie Barrett as he reverts to his first-choice New Zealand side. Sam Whitelock is set to become the most capped All Black of all time but must be content with a place on the bench with Brodie Retallick and Scott Barrett paired in the second row.

Regular skipper Sam Cane is also only a replacement as he continues to work his way back from injury, with Dalton Papali’i and captain Ardie Savea joining Frizell in the back row. Tyrel Lomax is also in line for a comeback after suffering a gash to the leg during the warm-up defeat to South Africa in August.

New Zealand XV: Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea (captain); Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga; Mark Telea, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan; Beauden Barrett.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane; Cam Roigard, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.

New Zealand vs Italy

18:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Little more than an hour, now, until we get going in Lyon. Let’s take a closer look at the two teams...

Antoine Dupont ‘in high spirits’ as France captain targets quarter-final return

18:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy, of course, face France in their final pool game next week, with the hosts all but certain to be without Antoine Dupont as the scrum half continues his recovery from surgery on his fractured cheekbone. The prognosis is looking good for Dupont, though, with the latest word from the French camp encouraging about his potential participation in the quarter-finals.

“He’s doing as well as possible,” France’s head of medical Bruno Boussagole has said today. “We’re six days on from his operation and the swelling has gone down. He’s having some pain that’s linked to the head injury, but which has nothing to do with the post-op. He’s doing very well. He’s in high spirits. He’s quite confident.

“The plan for him is a visit to the surgeon, which is going to happen fairly quickly. It’s a post-surgery visit to assess his progress and to give the first instructions. Depending on the surgeon’s instructions, we’ll wait for him to come back, which we hope will be scheduled fairly quickly, with some guidelines.

“Firstly, to assist him in relation to this shock, because when you have a shock like that you inevitably have secondary lesions, so we’re going to have to do specific work on his jaw joint; there’s specific work to be done in terms of rehabilitation.

“There’s also the question of concussion. There will be a neuro check-up in a week’s time, as soon as he arrives, to assess his condition so that he can gradually resume physical activity. So for the moment the news is reassuring, we’re doing our best to support him and we hope he’ll be back fairly soon.”

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

New Zealand vs Italy: Tommaso Allan confident his side can upset the All Blacks

18:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

I was in Nice a week and a half ago to watch Italy overcome Uruguay, simplifying things after a shaky, squabbly start to make it two bonus point wins from two. Afterwards, I collared Tommaso Allan for a chat, and found the Italy playmaker in a confident mood.

Tommaso Allan ‘confident’ Italy can pull off titanic All Blacks upset

New Zealand vs Italy: Sam Whitelock set to surpass Richie McCaw as most capped All Black

18:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Back to tonight’s proceedings, and another bit of history for record-breaker Sam Whitelock, set to become the All Blacks’ most capped player when he comes off the bench.

Sam Whitelock set to break All Blacks cap record in World Cup clash with Italy

Rugby World Cup: Red card rules explained

18:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There were another couple of contentious TMO bunker decisions in Japan’s win over Samoa last night, with head contacts and red cards continuing to be a theme of this tournament. Need a refresher of the high tackle laws? Our handy explainer has you covered...

Rugby World Cup: Red card rules explained

Rugby World Cup power rankings

18:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And here are our updated power rankings, assessing all 20 nations and their chances of winning it all in Paris at the end of October. Did Ireland’s win over South Africa lift them to the top of our list? And how far have Australia fallen with a first ever World Cup pool stage exit on the cards?

Rugby World Cup power rankings: A new nation at number one?

Rugby World Cup permutations: Which teams can qualify for quarter-finals?

18:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We are very much reaching crunch time in pool play at this tournament, with just nine days to go until we reach the end of the group stages. Here’s how the four pools stand and all the permutations you need to know - a useful one to have bookmarked over the next week or so with still plenty to be decided at this World Cup.

Rugby World Cup permutations: Which teams can qualify for quarter-finals?

New Zealand vs Italy

18:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A very good evening one and all. This Rugby World Cup ushers in the weekend with an intriguing little Friday night number in Lyon, with qualification from Pool A firmly the focus this evening. Ordinarily, the All Blacks would be major favourites against Italy but, rightly or wrongly, this encounter feels different, with Kieran Crowley’s Azzurri playing with clarity, accuracy and real belief that they can shock the world.

A first ever Italy win over the All Blacks would dump New Zealand out of the tournament - the three-time World Cup winners remain winners but pressure can do funny things. Kick off in Lyon is not too far away...

New Zealand vs Italy

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Italy are seeking a major shock as they bid to deny New Zealand a quarter-final place at the Rugby World Cup.

Kieran Crowley’s side have secured back-to-back wins over Namibia and Uruguay but know they face an altogether stiffer challenge against the All Blacks.

New Zealand bounced back from their opening night defeat to France with their own thrashing of Namibia and are boosted by the return of several key individuals for this fixture.

But they will have to be wary in a meeting with an Italian side full of potential and belief that they can secure an historic win.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Is New Zealand vs Italy on TV? Channel, start time and how to watch World Cup fixture