All Blacks on a scoring spree | Sunday Observer

All Blacks on a scoring spree

New Zealand’s scrum-half Aaron Smith (L) runs through Ireland’s flanker Josh van der Flier (AFP)
New Zealand’s scrum-half Aaron Smith (L) runs through Ireland’s flanker Josh van der Flier (AFP)

TOKYO AFP: Aaron Smith scored a brace of tries as defending champions New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14 on Saturday to set up a mouth-watering World Cup semi-final against England in Yokohama next weekend.

The All Blacks, seeking a third successive World Cup title, scored three first-half tries to all but end the game as a contest, going on to add four more in the second period.

Pivot Richie Mo’unga contributed 11 points with the boot to extend to 18 games New Zealand’s winning World Cup record -- they have not lost since their 20-18 quarter-final defeat by France in 2007. The victory also extended their record to 29 wins from 32 games against Ireland, who had won two of the last three meetings between the two sides, but now exit at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup for a record seventh time. The All Blacks had a front-loaded Pool B, winning their crucial opening match against South Africa to enable coach Steve Hansen to rotate his squad for games against Canada and Namibia.

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