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New Zealand

All Blacks ease through warm-ups

09th August 2013 11:30


SKY_MOBILE Dan Carter New Zealand

On the scoresheet: Daniel Carter

The All Blacks got their preparations for the Rugby Championship off to a solid start with wins over Wellington and Canterbury.

In a slightly bizarre evening that saw second-string teams from Wellington and Canterbury do battle before the national side faced first a full Canterbury team for 40 minutes and then a first-choice Wellington side for a further 40 minutes.

Having seen the Canterbury XV stroll passed their Wellington counterparts 24-0 in 40 minutes, the first string of men in red were not as successful as they lost 19-0 to the All Blacks.

A crowd of more than 6000 at the Hutt Recreation saw Julian Savea open the scoring in the ninth minute when he crossed over the whitewash to round off a sweeping move that was ignited by a cut-out pass from Francis Saili who was playing in the absence of Ma'a Nonu.

The All Blacks dominated proceedings throughout but Aaron Smith butchered a try-scoring chance with just one man to beat after Israel Dagg had run the ball from his own goal line.

Dan Carter eventually added a second five-pointer in the 33rd minute. Ben Smith, playing on the wing, dotted down after the hooter to bring the first encounter to an end.

Tries to Aaron Smith and Charles Piutau against Wellington were enough to eek out a win 12-7 after they had to come from behind following a try from Lions half-back Frae Wilson.

The matches were a chance for the All Blacks to familarise themselves with the new scrum laws, and this saw Richie McCaw choose to scrum from penalties rather than to kick for touch or for goal.

McCaw did not take part in the match against Wellington as a pesky neck injury began to trouble him after 40 minutes against Canterbury.

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