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World Cup favourites New Zealand hammered Tonga 92-7 within their closing warm-up match before the championship begins in Japan.
The All Blacks have been in form as they ran with nine distinct try scorers in 14 attempts in Hamilton.
Since they led 54-0 they were constant in the off and had already scored eight tries by half-time.
New Zealand begin their quest.
They will later play Canada, Namibia and Italy in Pool B and can play either Ireland or Scotland from the quarter-finals.
Tonga, famous for their physicality, couldn’t match the strength of New Zealand and were blown away as winger George Bridge led the way with four tries. Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty every scored Sevu Reece and two, Codie Taylor, captain Kieran Read, TJ Perenara, Matt Todd and Ardie Savea crossed the tryline.
Just as crucial for the hosts, there were no fresh injury concerns from the match.
The All Blacks eased up in the last 15 minutes the South Sea islanders scored a consolation try along with when they were deliberately decreased by coach Steve Hansen to 14 men as training.
Tonga will be England’s first opponents at the World Cup, with the 2 countries meeting in Sapporo on 22 September.
Australia curved off their preparations for the tournament by scoring six tries as they conquered Samoa 34-15 in Parramatta.
The Wallabies had been 22-3 up at half-time but faced a second half fight-back as replacement scrum-half Dwayne Polataivao went to reduce the shortage into 22-15 prior to scores from Dane Haylett-Petty and center Matt To’omua ensured the triumph.
One positive was a first look since March to get flanker David Pocock following a calf injury, but there’ll be concerns over fly-half Bernard Foley.
Whereas Samoa confront World Cup debutants Russia at Pool A three times afterwards in 33, australia, who are in Pool C with Wales, begin from Fiji on 21 September in Sapporo.
Ali Plumb offers his thoughts about the year’s movies so far
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