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Reece's hat-trick, Taukei'aho's double on debut help ABs to big win over Fiji

Relive 1 NEWS' live updates of this evening's Test between the All Blacks and Fiji at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

FT: NZL 60-13 FIJ

NZL TRY! TAUKEI'AHO WITH THE DOUBLE ON DEBUT. Beautiful play from the ABs sees Savea play halfback at the lineout. He gets it, runs to the blindside, flicks it to Taukei'aho and the big fella finishes with a dive in the corner.

The final whistle goes and that's all she wrote in Hamilton. Once again, there were positives tonight for both sides but Fiji definitely raised some more questions about this All Blacks team looking forward - their lineout being contested being one of them.

Good to see positive returns from injury for Savea and Lienert-Brown along with a great debut for Taukei'aho. 

That's all from us. Have a great weekend.

77min: NZL 55-13 FIJ

Fiji look to hold on to the ball and play this one out. It eventually earns them a penalty so they'll look to make one last attack from a lineout on halfway.

75min: NZL 55-13 FIJ

Bit of comic relief here as a pass comes to Reece who is looking the other way! Bumps off his shoulder and it's ruled a knock on. Fiji scrum just in front of their tryline.

74min: NZL 55-13 FIJ

And it goes south with the All Blacks forwards putting the shove and getting a penalty. Barrett kicks for touch and it's an All Blacks lineout 22m out from Fiji's line instead... sorry for the curse.

72min: NZL 55-13 FIJ

Fiji have a chance to get some life back here. All Blacks commit a knock on at a lineout and there's no advantage so Fiji get a scrum. it's 40m out from the NZ line but a good platform to work from.

69min: NZL 55-13 FIJ

NZL TRY! Frizell finishes the All Blacks attack from the lineout in his first touch of the lineout. Fiji look like their fading again unfortunately.

67min: NZL 48-13 FIJ

Scratch that. It's an All Blacks penalty for a late tackle on McKenzie that, funnily enough, was brought up on the big screen after the knock on. Barrett finds touch and it's an All Blacks lineout 22m out. 

66min: NZL 48-13 FIJ

Things getting a bit sloppy out there as both sides commit knock ons. This latest one has no advantage so Fiji get a scrum near halfway.

63min: NZL 48-13 FIJ

McKenzie stops a try with some brilliant skills! All Blacks look to attack on the right but Volavola intercepts and sets off for the corner only to be chased down by McKenzie and stopped inches short! He gets to his feet, gets his hands on the ball and earns the penalty! Absolutely brilliant from him!

61min: NZL 48-13 FIJ

All Blacks with a lineout here to restart on halfway after trading kicks.

60min: NZL 48-13 FIJ

NZL TRY! TAUKEI'AHO SCORES ON DEBUT!!! Classic maul results in an easy meat pie for the rookie. Much better lineouts from the All Blacks here in the second half. Barrett can't get the extras.

58min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

All Blacks get a penalty and Mo'unga kicks for the corner. Incidentally, that's his last act of the night as he gives way for Beauden Barrett.

56min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

A bit of Mo'unga magic off the scrum and he's into the backfield. Gets support but it's swatted by a Fiji player backwards. The ball is loose and it's Ta'avao giving chase but the big fella can't bring it in. Fiji scrum 10m from their line.

54min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

And now a special moment for one of Hamilton's own. Samisoni Taukei'aho takes the field and makes his debut as All Black No. 1198. Congratulations and he's in in his element - an All Blacks scrum on halfway.

53min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

All Blacks are penalised for being offside shortly after the lineout. Fiji kick for touch and get it 30m from NZ's line.

51min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

No mucking around from Havili on the restart. Get's it clean and clears. Fiji lineout 5m inside NZ's half.

49min: NZL 43-13 FIJ

NZL TRY! Ioane, Rieko that is, is on the field and he's in on the wing! Came in for Jordan and finishes off a setpiece from a 5m scrum. All Blacks push out their commanding lead once more.

46min: NZL 36-13 FIJ

Bit of weird restart. Mo'unga looks to have overcooked it with a kick out on the full but the All Blacks argue it was taken out. Ref is having none of it and gestures for a scrum on halfway. Replays on the big screens show the All Blacks are right and they're telling the ref all about it. He then overturns his decision and now the All Blacks have a lineout 10m from Fiji's line. Wild.

45min: NZL 36-13 FIJ

FIJ TRY! And Fiji respond instantly! All Blacks are penalised off the restart and Fiji use it to kick for the corner. They control the lineout, set the maul and eventually it's Ravai who scores! And now Nakarawa's back! It's all on!

42min: NZL 36-6 FIJ

NZL TRY! And it goes from bad to worse with Jordan in to score from the scrum. Fiji are still at 14 men with Nakarawa still sin binned for another 4-ish minutes.

40min: NZL 29-6 FIJ

Horror restart for Fiji as Nadolo drops Mo'unga's kickoff cold. All Blacks scrum 10m from Fiji's line. 

HT: NZL 29-6 FIJ

Ardie Savea celebrates a try with Aaron Smith. Source: Photosport

NZL TRY! And Savea finishes the half in style, scoring in his 50th Test. The All Blacks got back on the attack with one minute to go, managed to get the ball to loosie and he rumbles way over to score.

That wraps a weird first half from Hamilton. On the one side, the All Blacks head to the sheds with a 23-point lead after an impressive second quarter but on the other side of that, Fiji have shown some very positive signs once again to the point they even had the All Blacks second-guessing their lineouts in an attacking position.

We'll be back shortly with the second half. Stick around.

37min: NZL 22-6 FIJ

NZL TRY! REECE HAS A HAT-TRICK! All Blacks get a penalty, Mo'unga takes the quick tap and gets NZ within metres of the line. It comes back, they fire it right, the skip pass goes to ground but Reece recovers it and goes in for a third.

It's a double blow for Fiji though as Nakarawa is yellow carded! Before Mo'unga's quick-tap, Nakarawa was called in and told to talk to his team about their discipline in this area of the field. Straight after, it's the skipper himself who is offside scrambling to stop the All Blacks and it costs him severely. 

34min: NZL 17-6 FIJ

And the All Blacks are on the attack again after a penalty gives them a lineout on Fiji's 22m. Can they settle it and produce something?

31min: NZL 17-6 FIJ

NZL TRY! And all of a sudden, the All Blacks have breathing room. Fiji cough up the ball cold off the restart and give up a scrum on their 22m. All Blacks go blindside with it. Smith to Mo'unga, Mo'unga to Reece and Reece is in in the corner for a second. Mo'unga slots it from the corner. What a difference a few minutes can make.

Sevu Reece scores against Fiji. Source: Photosport

29min: NZL 10-6 FIJ

NZL THREE! Well, well, well. That's a massive win for Fiji. Sure, they're penalised off the lineout but obviously their attack on the All Blacks' lineout is enough for Whitelock to opt for the three instead of the corner and a potential seven again. Will this alter gameplans?

27min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

And this time the throw is not straight! That's the All Blacks' third lineout error tonight inside Fiji's 22! Fiji settle with a scrum and clear. All Blacks lineout again, this time on Fiji's 22m. 

26min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

The lineout is clean and it leads to another penalty as Fiji are offside. This one is kickable but Mo'unga kicks for the corner. This is the lineout that counts.

25min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

Fiji scrum is penalised for angling on the engage. Mo'unga kicks for touch and it's an All Blacks lineout 35m from Fiji's line. Can they get this one right?

23min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

Fiji lose it at the lineout and there's no advantage so it's an All Blacks scrum. That slippery ball is showing up plenty already.

22min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

All Blacks turn their pressure into an attacking lineout but again overthrow it and Fiji gain possession inside their 22m. They clear and McKenzie gets it but is swarmed by Fiji's chasers. Barrett is the first to arrive and help but is penalised for entering incorrectly. Fiji kick for touch and get a lineout 25m from NZ's line.

19min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

Fiji lose the ball at a lineout shortly after the restart. Just before that though, All Blacks props Bower and Laulala combined for a bone-crunching hit on Fiji's Buliruarua. How is walking after that? Anyway. All Blacks scrum 10m inside Fiji's half now.

18min: NZL 7-6 FIJ

FIJ THREE! Fiji respond instantly! They get a penalty off the restart and look for the three points from 35m out. Volavola delivers.

15min: NZL 7-3 FIJ

NZL TRY! Reece is in on some Havili brilliance! It comes to Havili off the lineout, he steps inside one, brushes off a second to get into the back field. Has one to beat, draws, makes a little flick pass to his Crusaders teammate and Reece is in under the posts. Classy set piece that one.

13min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

Another attacking chance for the All Blacks here after they earn a penalty at the breakdown. Mo'unga kicks for touch and it's NZ's lineout 22m from Fiji's line.

11min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

This time Fiji struggle with the ball and it results in a knock on. No advantage so All Blacks get the scrum which they use to set up a clearing kick from Mo'unga. he's accurate and finds touch 35m from Fiji's line.

9min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

Horrid series of plays from the All Blacks. First, the throw in at the lineout goes over the target and Fiji take it. Fiji clear with McKenzie scrambling back to get the ball. He does, but then kicks the ball out after taking it inside his 22m, so that means we come all the way back. Fiji lineout on the All Blacks' 22m

8min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

All Blacks with an attacking chance now. Fiji clear from the scrum but it doesn't go out and McKenzie brings it back. All Blacks look to recycle quickly and get Fiji offside doing so. There's eventually no advantage so we come back and Mo'unga kicks for the corner. All Blacks lineout 10m from Fiji's line.

6min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

Sloppy restart and Fiji will be under pressure from it. Fiji with a scrum just inside their 22m.

5min: NZL 0-3 FIJ

FIJ THREE! Offside from the lineout and there's no advantage as they can't crack the ABs line so we come back for the penalty. Volavola steps up to give his side the lead.

3min: NZL 0-0 FIJ

Fiji with the first attacking chance of the night! Beauty of a set piece off the lineout creates the break in the midfield and they're through into space. Ball makes its way to Nadolo on the wing and he's got two in front of him. Tries to pass back in field as he's bundled into touch but McKenzie gets a hand to it, controls it, before getting taken out himself. Fiji lineout 5m from All Blacks line. What a start for Fiji.

2min: NZL 0-0 FIJ

Fiji go deep on the kickoff to Reece and he thumps it back downfield with a beauty in reply. Fiji with a lineout 25m from their own line, it comes down, Lomani looks to attack and is hit with a high tackle. Nothing in it but it's a clear penalty. Kick gets to halfway for Fiji's first lineout of the night.

7:05pm: KICKOFF

Fiji gets us going and it's on in Hamilton!

7:00pm: ANTHEMS

The teams are on the pitch and of note, Fiji is not wearing their vaccination jerseys. It's not going to impact the game itself, obviously, but after so much discussion around the Covid crisis back in the island nation this week along with a statement from Fiji Rugby themselves saying the players had agreed to wear them. 

6:55pm: PRE-MATCH

After a wild 24 hours of weather we've got a clear night in Hamilton [so far].

No late changes to report other than Taukei'aho's confirmed place on the bench in place of Coles from yesterday. 

It's 13 degrees currently with a strong 27km/h nor-westerly going across the pitch. Yes, it's wet underfoot but there's nothing coming from the skies so we'll keep our fingers crossed that stays that way.

6:30pm: PREVIEW

David Havili celebrates scoring his second try against Fiji in Dunedin. Source: Photosport

Head coach Ian Foster may need the All Blacks to convincingly beat Fiji in the second rugby test today to quiet rising concern about the standard of the New Zealand team's recent performances.

The All Blacks beat Fiji 57-23 in the first test last weekend but the scoreline was deceptive; hooker Dane Coles came off the bench to score four second-half tries and make the win seem more emphatic than it was.

Fans have since expressed concern about the manner in which the Fiji team won the physical battle against New Zealand, outplaying the All Blacks at breakdowns where they won at least nine turnovers and several penalties.

The level of physicality has been a recurring theme for the All Blacks in recent years, highlighted in their semifinal loss to England at the 2019 World Cup.

Foster, previously an assistant to Steve Hansen, took over as head coach after the World Cup in Japan in what New Zealand Rugby has styled as a planned succession.

The appointment divided opinion, with many All Blacks fans preferring Scott Robertson, who has now led the Christchurch-based Crusaders to five consecutive Super Rugby titles.

Foster is only contracted to the end of the current season and Robertson recently has re-signed with the Crusaders, increasing pressure on Foster to turn around the team's performance.

Foster's first season in charge, in 2020, ended with the All Blacks winning two and losing two tests. The losses included an historic first-ever defeat by Argentina, which overwhelmed New Zealand in the physical contest.

Foster was able to claim the 2020 season was a unique one because of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the All Blacks to base themselves in Australia for a Tri-Nations series against the Wallabies and Pumas.

The All Blacks have a more extensive schedule planned this year with a full Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship and an end of year tour to Britain if the pandemic allows. Foster will have fewer excuses if the All Blacks fail to perform consistently and to lift the physical part of their game.

He expressed some satisfaction with his team's first test performance and less concern than others about the breakdown dysfunction. Foster highlighted the role of the ball carrier in setting targeted points for breakdowns to allow support to arrive more quickly.

He expects improvement tonight when the All Blacks field a team closer to his strongest available lineup.

"Clearly we want to improve," Foster said.

"How we carry the ball and recycle the ball is going to be important.

"The danger of that is that we don't want to get into purely a retaining the ball mode. We still want to attack so it's getting that balance, not going into our shells ... but making accurate decisions."

The All Blacks lack of physical impact may stem from domestic Super Rugby in which tight forward play is almost absent.

Most of the Fiji players play in Europe, where fundamental forward play is more prevalent.

Fiji head coach Vern Cotter said in the first test his team competed well at the breakdown and was well structured with their set piece, but "in the last 20 minutes we just run out of steam."

"There were some really positive signs as we slowed the All Blacks down and they expected to play undercover," he said. "The Flying Fijians did a really good job at going in and disrupting and stealing ball and that was important in stopping the All Blacks flow.

"There are some very positive things from the last game that we're happy with and things that we need to work on to became more competitive for our next game this weekend."

TEAMS

Source: 1 NEWS