Opinion: Lions, take note: All Blacks overcome determined Manu Samoa in 12-try blitz at Eden Park


The Lions were no doubt taking notes as the All Blacks tore apart Samoa at Eden Park this evening to comfortably beat their Pacific brothers 78-0.

Sonny Bill WIlliams offloads.
New Zealand All Blacks v Samoa test match rugby union. Pasifika Challenge. Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand. Friday 16 June 2017. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Sonny Bill WIlliams offloads during the All Blacks' match against Samoa.

Source: Photosport

The scoreline doesn't reflect a strong start from Manu Samoa who pressured a rather rusty-looking All Blacks outfit and dominated in territory for the opening 30 minutes of the match.

But the All Blacks converted on a rare early visit to Samoa's 22m when a 5m scrum set up Anton Lienert-Brown for the opening try - although the score was controversial after it appeared Ardie Savea knocked the ball on at the base of the scrum while recycling it to the backline.

But Samoa's night went from bad to worse after the All Blacks' stand-in captain, Ben Smith, led by example and set up an end-to-end piece of magic with none other than Beauden Barrett in the 30th minute.

The floodgates well and truly opened from there as the All Blacks piled on 12 tries for the match, including two more before halftime.

Most of the damage came in the second half as the trademark All Blacks fitness and bench impact blew Samoa off the park - the 28-0 halftime lead ballooning by another fifty points.

And despite more magical set-piece tries off the back of the scrum that the Lions will no doubt study this week, no try was more special than Vaea Fifita's.

The Hurricanes lock scored on debut with his first touch of the ball.

Fellow debutant Jordie Barrett also entered the game with brother Scott and made an impact but didn't get a chance to score.

Hansen will no doubt want to address some issues and decisions his men made in the first half of the match but considering their defence and discipline stopped any points from going on the board, who won't be too flustered heading into next week's match though.

Lions coach Warren Gatland on the other hand, may need to keep looking over those notes.

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