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Last Updated: Friday, 17 October, 2003, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
All Blacks crush Canada
Canada 6-68 New Zealand

Mils Muiliaina scores one of his four tries against Canada
Canada 6 (3)
Pens: Barker 2
New Zealand 68 (28)
Tries: Ralph (2), So'oialo (2), Muliaina (4), Meeuws, Nonu
Cons: Carter (9)

New Zealand racked up another 10 tries as they cruised to a comfortable win over Canada at Melbourne's Telstra Dome.

But the All Blacks were made to work far harder than expected against second-string opponents who refused to capitulate.

Mils Muliaina, playing on the right wing rather than his usual full-back role, took the individual plaudits with four tries - his first for his country.

Centre Daniel Carter converted nine of them in an accomplished kicking display, but several players missed the chance to press their case for inclusion in New Zealand's first-choice side.

Canada trailed only 7-3 at the end of the first quarter as talk of possible new World Cup records appeared to affect the All Blacks in the early stages.

They turned the ball over in contact, lost two of their own line-outs and over-elaborated when they had space to run.

It was pretty frustrating - there were a lot of mistakes out there
NZ captain Reuben Thorne
Against all expectations, the match remained scoreless for the opening 16 minutes.

But suddenly, from a turnover in their own 22, the All Blacks struck with a long-range effort initiated by Carlos Spencer.

The fly-half chipped ahead and collected the fortuitous bounce himself, before launching another kick from right on the touchline.

Caleb Ralph, replacing the injured Joe Rokocoko, showed searing pace to reach the kick first, Carter adding the extras.

But Canada responded with a penalty from fly-half Jared Barker, who added another in the second half to take his remarkable rate to 62 from his last 68 kicks at goal.

The Canucks continued to enjoy a healthy share of possession, but rarely troubled the All Blacks' defence and remained vulnerable to turnovers.

Brad Thorn tries to escape a Canadian tackler
Number eight Rodney So'oialo grabbed his first try after 27 minutes from close range, but his second before half-time, New Zealand's fourth, demonstrated their counter-attacking ability.

Moving the ball wide at the earliest opportunity, three passes took the All Blacks clear and So'oialo sprinted onto Spencer's inside pass from halfway.

That score sandwiched a first All Blacks try for Muliaina, who finished off a neat break from full-back Leon MacDonald.

Carter converted all four for a half-time lead of 28-3, and Ralph was denied another score immediately upon the resumption for a foot in touch after a lovely flowing move.

They've got to be favourites for the World Cup
Canada captain Ryan Banks
But Muliaina grabbed his second on a sharp angle from Brad Thorn's smart pass before Spencer and Ma'a Nonu combined to send the wing racing away for his hat-trick.

Kees Meeuws weighed in with one for the forward brigade, his eighth Test try equalling the world record for a prop.

Flanker Marty Holah put Ralph in for his second before Thorn was again to the fore in the build-up to Muliaina's fourth.

Nonu wrapped up a comfortable night's work with the 10th and final score.

Canada: Q Fyffe; M King, J Cannon, M Di Girolamo, S Fauth; J Barker, E Fairhurst; K Tkachuk, A Abrams, G Cooke; J Cudmore, E Knaggs; R Banks (capt), J Douglas, J Reid.

Replacements: M Lawson, R Snow, A van Staveren, C Yukes, M Williams, R Smith, N Witkowski.

New Zealand: L MacDonald; M Muliaina, M Nonu, D Carter, C Ralph; C Spencer, S Devine; C Hoeft, M Hammett, K Meeuws, B Thorn, C Jack, R Thorne (capt), M Holah, R So'oialo.

Replacements: G Somerville, D Howlett, B Kelleher, D Braid, R McCaw, D Hewett, C Flynn.

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