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HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) — Winger George Bridge scored four tries while fullback Ben Smith and center Ryan Crotty bagged doubles as New Zealand overwhelmed Tonga 92-7 Saturday in its last match before defending its Rugby World Cup title in Japan.
Bridge’s first try was among eight scored by the All Blacks in the first half, after which they led 54-0, and he added three more in the second half as New Zealand brought its tally for the match to 14.
Smith scored both of his tries in the first half, playing his way back into form with perfect timing ahead of New Zealand’s World Cup opener against South Africa in Yokohama on Sept. 21.
Beauden Barrett kicked seven conversions, playing only the first half, and Josh Ioane added four on debut after taking over the goal kicking in the second half. New Zealand still fell short of its record winning margin against Tonga: 102-0 in 2000.
Tonga, ranked 15, showed an i
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