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Last Updated: Friday, 24 October, 2003, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Thorne hails NZ rout
New Zealand captain Reuben Thorne takes on the Tonga defence
Thorne's men defied the conditions
New Zealand captain Reuben Thorne declared himself satisfied after his side racked up the highest score of the World Cup so far against Tonga.

The All Blacks made light of a deluge at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium to run in 13 tries in a 91-7 victory, eight of them coming in the second half.

"We managed to keep going and keep getting the points so we are pretty happy, given the conditions," Thorne said.

"It was hot at the start and the ball was slippery when the rain came. But even so we managed to adapt, put the ball behind them and still get the points.

We had to have a lot of patience
NZ coach John Mitchell
"Tonga were competitive against Wales previously, but we were very focused on what we were doing."

Wales are New Zealand's final group opponents a week on Sunday, with the All Blacks having already secured their quarter-final place after a third straight win.

Ominously for Steve Hansen's side, Thorne indicated there is still plenty to come from a side that has already scored 34 tries so far.

"There were things we wanted to try that we weren't able to," he added. "But next week against Wales will be another step up so we are looking forward to that."

Coach John Mitchell also praised his side's performance against tough opponents.

"There was some outstanding play, we had to have a lot of patience," he said.

"I thought the team-work was a lot better and the players came off the field pretty satisfied.

"We certainly know we're getting to a more difficult phase of rugby now and we're ready for it."





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