ROME – World champions New Zealand bounced back from their try-less defeat to Ireland, scoring 10 against Italy in their biggest margin of victory over the Azzurri in 15 years to end their northern hemisphere tour with a 66-3 win in Rome.
The All Blacks came out firing on all cylinders after their 16-9 defeat in Dublin last weekend, with five unanswered tries in a dominant first half display on Saturday to lead 31-3 at the break, continuing the punishment with five more after the restart.
Jordie Barrett – lining up alongside brothers Scott and Beauden for New Zealand – scored four times with Damian McKenzie dotting down for three of his own as Italy fell to their 15th defeat in as many meetings against the All Blacks.
The visitors' coach Steve Hansen made 11 changes to the side that lost to the Irish but retained fly-half Beauden Barrett and fullback McKenzie.
TJ Perenara touched down the first try after nine minutes in the Stadio Olimpico finishing off a set piece move to cross for his 11th Test try.
Italy resisted the early pressure with Tommaso Allan's penalty goal reducing the deficit after 13 minutes.
But it was to be the hosts only score of the afternoon as after quarter of an hour Patrick Tuipulotu set up McKenzie to dot down.
Beauden Barrett converted as New Zealand led 12-3 after 25 minutes before Irish referee Andrew Brace took a knock to his leg and was replaced by French linesman Pascal Gauzere.
Beauden Barrett then put through a grubber kick for the run of McKenzie who latched onto the bouncing ball to score his second try, but missed the conversion as the All Blacks led 17-3 to control the game after 30 minutes.
The Barrett brothers dominated the final ten minutes of the first half with both Jordie and Beauden touching down.
The punishment continued for Conor O'Shea's Italy in the second half as they fell to their second consecutive defeat after last weekend's 26-7 loss to Australia in Padua.AFP