George Bridge scores four tries as All Blacks thrash Tonga


New Zealand faced Tonga in their final World Cup warmup game yesterday, with the Kiwis hammering the Pacific Islanders 92-7 in Hamilton.

Playing their first day-time Test in New Zealand since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks were a class above from the outset after Reece's opening try in the eighth minute.

The All Blacks looked to be heading for another 100-point performance against Tonga as they scored four more tries with more than 20 minutes remaining before the game lost some shape with a raft of replacements.

Fullback Ben Smith and inside centre Ryan Crotty crossed twice each in what was effectively a glorified training run.

Despite their problems, New Zealand´s players were greeted by hundreds of autograph-hunting fans outside the team hotel, a welcome that visibly moved some of the exhausted players and which prompted captain Kieran Read to say: "This is just a stud, it´s really blowing us away". The trio will all take up offshore club contracts after the World Cup.

New Zealand's bid states that women's teams could be housed in three-star accommodation at the showpiece tournament in two years.

Up 54-0 at half-time, New Zealand appeared on track to raise a century for most of the game but were held scoreless over the final 15 minutes.

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Although they're set to play for much less than their English rivals, the potential payment is the last of the All Blacks worries with former All Black prop Wyatt Crockett assuring it won't be a motivating factor for the men in black. They didn't replace Crotty when he left the ground after scoring his second try.

Just as important for the hosts, there were no fresh injury concerns from the match.

Smith scored both of his tries in the first half, playing his way back into form with flawless timing ahead of New Zealand's World Cup opener against South Africa in Yokohama on September 21.

The tactic was reminiscent of the last World Cup in England when they practised different scenarios in matches throughout the pool phase to ensure they were ready for the knockout games.

Hansen felt for Tongan counterpart Toutai Kefu and other Pacific Island coaches, who have a small window to work with their players, many of whom are only reluctantly released by their European clubs for worldwide duty.

Bridge recorded his second try by catching the kickoff which started the second half and running in nearly unopposed as the scorline mounted relentlessly.