The All Blacks showed the world exactly why they are firm favourites to lift the Web Ellis Cup, whilst the current holders looked dire and toothless.
New Zealand destroyed Italy by 76 points to 14 in a much more impressive display than England’s 28-10 victory over the USA – a far inferior side to the Italians.
The eleven-ty Kiwis played with such power and pace that the game was effectively over within the first quarter. Italy had no response to the wave after wave of All Black runners that easily picked holes in their normally strong defence, and their speed of recycling possession made them look impossible to stop.
In grim contrast, the English stuttered to victory over a side ranked 15th in the world in a display littered with errors and provided further evidence of their lack of creativity in attack. They look to have no chance of defeating South Africa next week, and are in real danger of losing to the Samoans and returning home before October and the business end of the tournament.
New Zealand required just 64 seconds to score their first try of their campain – England needed 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, the All Blacks led by 43 points and the gulf in class is obvious.