Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Pacific All Blacks shine in Bledisloe Cup demolition of the Wallabies

All Blacks demolish the Wallabies 36-0 to win the Bledisloe Cup for the 17th consecutive year.

Fijian speedster Sevu Reece carried his winning form onto the international rugby stage with a brilliant performance against the Wallabies at Eden Park last night.

It was one of many highlights to come out of the All Blacks’ 36-0 drubbing of Australia to win the Bledisloe Cup for the 17th consecutive year – a stark turnaround from their previous match just seven days ago where they suffered their biggest defeat in history, losing by 21 points in Perth.

As a result, usual first-choice starters Reiko Ioane and Ben Smith were omitted from last night’s test match making way for 22-year-old Reece, who got the nod after a stellar season with the Crusaders.

Reece hit the ground running with a try-saving tackle on fellow Fijian Marika Koroibete early in the first half and he proved to be more than a handful on attack before crossing the line for his first try in the 69th minute.

He almost bagged another by intercept just a minute later, before the ref called an earlier knock-on by Sam Whitelock.

Coach Steve Hansen said Reece along with fellow outside back George Bridge showed they have what it takes to play at international level.

“What a wonderful opportunity to see if they can cope with the pressure of such a big occasion and I think everybody saw what happened, they both played very well.” Hansen said

Reece was one of 10 Pacific players to take to the field which also included Ardie Savea, whose physical prowess saw him finish the match with 12 carries and 13 tackles.

“Ardie has had an outstanding season, probably the best player in Super Rugby and when he carries, he carries doesn’t he? If you don’t tackle him, you’ve got 3 or 4 other people trying to stop him and that gives you great go forward.”

Richie Mo’unga also gave a standout performance in the number 10 jersey, scoring the opening try along with three conversions and a penalty before hurting his shoulder in the 59th minute.

“He’s not that bad, doctors said he’ll be fine,” Hansen said

Veteran Sonny Bill Williams’ provided solidity in the midfield, scoring a try early in the second half and playing a total of 66 minutes. It is a step in the right direction for the 34-year-old who has been battling a knee injury for most of the year.

“Sonny’s been under a lot of pressure, hasn’t played many games because of his injury…and he played well tonight”

The All Blacks’ next match will be against Tonga’s Ikale Tahi in Hamilton on September 7th.

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