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Thursday, October 14, 1999 Published at 13:48 GMT 14:48 UK

Ton-up All Blacks rout Italy

Jeff Wilson: Hat-trick and a new record

New Zealand 101-3 Italy

New Zealand have destroyed Italy with a consummate display of total rugby at Huddersfield - with what was effectively their second team.

The BBC's Ian Robertson: "The All Blacks look invincible in this sort of form"
It is the highest score of the World Cup so far, although some distance short of the record 145 points the All Blacks scored against Japan in 1995.

The match also brought a personal triumph for Jeff Wilson - one of only four first-choice regulars in the side - who broke John Kirwan's longstanding New Zealand try-scoring record - setting a new mark of 37 Test tries with a hat-trick.

One-way traffic

But for the Italians it was another reminder that although they have joined the Six Nations, they are still a long, long way behind the big boys.

Italy enjoyed approximately 30 seconds of ascendancy at the start of the match, capitalising on a Taine Randell handling error from the kick-off to push the All Blacks back to their line.

Notably, it was the only time they crossed the gain-line in the entire first half as all the traffic went the other way.

Stand-in New Zealand fly-half Tony Brown opened the scoring with a penalty on five minutes, which was quickly followed by Wilson's walk-in first try four minutes later.

Diego Dominguez kicked a long-range penalty to pull three points back and there ensued a 10-minute period of play dominated by fierce Italian defending and crunching All Black drives.

Brown kicked another penalty and then took a deft interception on 21 minutes moments after Italy had achieved a rare turnover to race in unopposed.

Touches of luck

With the scores at 20-3, the All Blacks scented a rout and on half-an-hour blindside flanker Dylan Mika powered through the centre of a ruck for another try.

On 33 minutes they were back as Lomu joined a scrum on the Italian line and carried three men over for a classic number eight touchdown.

A minute later, Wilson was the beneficiary of Lomu's midfield largesse as the big man broke a series of tackles to send the fullback over for his record-setting 36th try - one better than Kirwan's mark.

Glen Osbourne crossed again before half-time and Brown took a penalty from the halfway line to break the 50 mark, with the interval score 51-3.

An exhausted-looking Italy made a brave attempt to hold the flood gates closed and succeeded for 10 minutes of the second half.

But it was a futile effort as the All Blacks ran incisively and with characteristic power, taking every opportunity and showing some superb handling to set the highest score of the tournament so far.

Even luck seemed to go the New Zealanders' way as a Brown conversion bounced off the crossbar and Osborne was awarded the final try of the match when at least half his body was clearly in touch.

New Zealand scored their second half 50 with tries from Randell, Daryl Gibson, Scott Robertson, Christian Cullen - after only a minute on the pitch - and Mark Hammett, to add to a third for Wilson and seconds for both Lomu and Osborne.


New Zealand

Jeff Wilson; Glen Osborne, Pita Alatini, Daryl Gibson, Jonah Lomu; Tony Brown, Byron Kelleher; Greg Feek, Mark Hammett, Craig Dowd, Ian Jones, Royce Willis, Dylan Mika, Taine Randell (capt), Andrew Blowers.

Replacements: Christian Cullen, Andrew Mehrtens, Rhys Duggan, Scott Robertson, Robin Brooke, Carl Hoeft or Kees Meeuws, Anton Oliver.


15 Matt Pini; 14 Paolo Vaccari, 13 Christian Stoica, 12 Alessandro Ceppolino, 11 Nicholas Zisti; 10 Diego Dominguez, 9 Alessandro Troncon; 8 Carlo Caione, 7 Stefano Saviozzi, 6 Massimo Giovanelli (captain), 5 Mark Giacheri, 4 Carlo Checchinato, 3 Andrea Castellani, 2 Andrea Moretti, 1 Alessandro Moreno.

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