All Blacks put on show in warm-up

The All Blacks have blown out the cobwebs in style, obliterating Taranaki and Counties Manukau in the "Game of Three Halves".

It was a case of men against boys in Pukekohe, as the world champions prepared for next weekend's Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship opener against Australia with a 57-7 first-up demolition of Taranaki and then a 49-0 win over the Steelers.

Earlier, Counties defeated Taranaki 28-7.

Handed a licence to attack and entertain, Steve Hansen's troops threw the ball around willingly and ran at every opportunity.

In their first 40-minute match against the Bulls, the All Blacks carved open the defence at will, scoring 10 tries to one through the likes of Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith.

For Taranaki, Sione Lea crashed over via a rolling maul.

Changing most of their XV for their second match against Counties, the All Blacks were no less fluent, running in an unanswered seven tries.

Sam Cane grabbed a double, followed by tries to Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Sopoaga, who played the lion's share of the match at No.10 and impressed.

Late tries to Nathan Harris, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Ioane - a constant threat down the left edge - then closed out the contest.



Photo: PHOTOSPORT Rieko Ioane