All Blacks deliver World Cup wake-up call for Tonga

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Expected to provide the All Blacks with a physical trial ahead of their own departure for Japan on Monday, Tonga were given no chance to get their tackling power going in tight quarter play.

 

From the outset the All Blacks ran the ball, moving the big Tongan pack all over the field in a 14-try onslaught that never let up. Their pack was twice pushed off the ball for the All Blacks to claim old-fashioned tightheads.

 

The All Blacks beat 35 defenders during the game compared to nine for Tonga while the clean breaks favoured New Zealand 24-4, offloads were 18-7 with the only significant statistic in Tonga's favour being eight turnovers won to New Zealand's six.

 

Kefu said while the game had been a useful exercise for fitness as a result of the amount of running the side had to do, they were left with a lot of things to look at before they meet England in their opening World Cup game.

 

"I think the defence was pretty woeful, just the one-on-one tackling, the connections," he said.

 

They had managed to avoid a 100-plus points defeat and they did have one period when they stretched the All Blacks' defensively 'somewhat' but they needed to have done more of that in the first half.

 

Captain Siale Piutau said they were disappointed with the result and their performance but there had been a lot of lessons, especially on defence against a quality side like the All Blacks and that would one focus they would take into their next few weeks.

 

Kefu said at halftime it was just a case of throwing it in the bin, starting anew and going back to what they had planned to do.

 

But the All Blacks threw a spanner in the works of that plan when scoring within nine seconds of the restart.

 

"That was disappointing. We finished the second half ok, but we'll have to go back through the tape and really assess it," he said.

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