Watch: All Blacks fire on all cylinders in 'Game of Three Halves' against Counties and Taranaki

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NZN

The All Blacks have blown out the cobwebs in style, obliterating both Taranaki and Counties Manukau in Friday's "Game of Three Halves".

It was a case of men against boys in Pukekohe, as the world champions prepared for next weekend's Rugby Championship opener against Australia with a 57-7 first-up demolition of Taranaki and then a 49-0 win over the Steelers.

Earlier, Counties defeated Taranaki 28-7.

Handed a licence to attack and entertain, Steve Hansen's troops threw the ball around willingly and ran at every opportunity.

"They were never going to be perfect tonight but there was a lot of nice rugby in there and some good skill execution which we've been working on. They've gelled reasonably well as a team," Hansen said.

"You just want to get them out there, get them game time, get them going through the systems and back into the All Blacks' way.

"It's always difficult to get back into international rugby without a game under your belt. That's why we want to play two teams instead of just one - both teams came out and were physical, and we were physical ourselves."

In their first 40-minute match against the Bulls, the All Blacks carved open the defence at will, scoring 10 tries to one through the likes of Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo and Ben Smith.

For Taranaki, Sione Lea crashed over via a rolling maul.

Changing most of their XV for their second match against Counties, the All Blacks were no less fluent, running in an unanswered seven tries.

Sam Cane grabbed a double, followed by tries to Ofa Tu'ungafasi and Sopoaga, who played the lion's share of the match at No.10 and impressed.

Late tries to Nathan Harris, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and Ioane - a constant threat down the left edge - then closed out the contest.

By the end of the match, Hansen had shuffled his team considerably, with halfback TJ Perenara at fullback and flanker Ardie Savea on the wing.

He said it was necessary given the absence of the All Blacks' contingent of Crusaders, who sat out the match after last week's Super Rugby final triumph.

No players suffered injuries on the night, with attention turning to next weekend's opening trans-Tasman Test in Sydney.

The squad will fly out on Sunday afternoon.

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