Ben Smith Rugby World Cup: All Blacks run riot against Tonga in Hamilton

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SKY SPORT

All Blacks outclass Tonga in Rugby World Cup dress rehearsal. SKY SPORT

The All Blacks have signed off for the Rugby World Cup in stunning fashion, running riot in a 92-7 victory in Hamilton on Saturday afternoon.

In a fixture fitted in to bridge the gap between New Zealand’s last Bledisloe Cup hitout and their important opening pool game against South Africa in a fortnight, the legs were well and truly stretched by the home side, thanks to the plethora of long-range tries cantered in for.

In all, there were 14 of them, with George Bridge collecting four, as he made a very good fist of keeping the left-wing berth made vacant by an out-of-touch, and now slightly injured Rieko Ioane.

Ben Smith George Bridge scored four tries in the All Blacks' huge win over Tonga in Hamilton on Saturday.

HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

George Bridge scored four tries in the All Blacks’ huge win over Tonga in Hamilton on Saturday.

There also doubles to Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty – the former back in his accustomed home of fullback, and the latter at second-five on return at from a broken thumb, as the men in black were in rampant mood, and even subbed off Crotty with quarter of an hour remaining in order to practice for a 14-man situation in the weeks ahead.

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The crowd of 23, 443 at FMG Stadium Waikato featured just patches of red, and the black wave were treated to a near-history-making effort by the hosts, who just fell short of eclipsing their 102-0 effort against the Tongans on the North Shore in 2000.

Ben Smith Ardie Savea powers his way through the Tongan defence at FMG Stadium Waikato.

FIONA GOODALL/GETTY IMAGES

Ardie Savea powers his way through the Tongan defence at FMG Stadium Waikato.

In the end, the stats made for ugly reading – the running metres 1,101 to 255, clean breaks 24-4, defenders beaten 35-9 and the Tongans tackling at 65 per cent

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