All Blacks demolish Ireland
Jonathan Sexton and Richie McCaw (AP)
Hamilton - New Zealand posted a record-breaking 60-0 thrashing of Ireland in the third and final Test at the Waikato Stadium here on Saturday to complete a series sweep.
The All Blacks, who squeezed past the Irish with a last-gasp Daniel Carter drop goal in Christchurch last week, scored nine tries including two each to Sam Cane and Sonny Bill Williams, and had the game won at half-time leading 29-0.
Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Israel Dagg, Liam Messam and Adam Thomson also scored as the world champions recorded their largest winning margin against Ireland.
The previous largest margin was 53 points, when the All Blacks won 59-6 in 1992. It was the third time in their 27 Tests that the All Blacks have held Ireland scoreless.
Ireland, who have never beaten New Zealand, gave the All Blacks a major fright last week before losing 22-19, but the world champions, who made six changes to the side, put the game beyond doubt by half-time with four tries.
All four were set up by flyhalf Aaron Cruden, two to inside centre Williams and one each to flanker Cane and winger Ben Smith.
Cane and Williams's first tries came from incredible sleight of hand by the slender flyhalf when he was able to free his hands in the tackle and find the player running off him.
Smith's try was just as impressive, with Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll turning the ball over while on attack, Cruden snatching the loose ball, running about 30 metres and feeding to centre Conrad Smith, who found his namesake outside him.
Cruden was injured in the tackle and immediately went off for treatment but did not return, handing a Test debut to Beauden Barrett, who looked just as composed as the man he replaced.
The All Blacks quickly built on their 29-0 lead after the break with Cane scoring his second try after a superb break from Aaron Smith, while Gear finished off a long-range try after Cane had stolen a deep line-out throw and they spread it wide.
Gear could probably have outsprinted Keith Earls to the corner but slowed slightly before smashing over the top of the Irish winger to emphasise the gulf in intensity between the two sides.
Messam, Dagg and Thomson scored tries in the second half as the All Blacks continued their rout and refused to allow Ireland to put any points on the board.Scorers:New Zealand:
Tries: Sam Cane (2), Sonny Bill Williams (2), Ben Smith, Hosea Gear, Liam Messam, Israel Dagg, Adam Thomson; Conversions: Aaron Cruden (2), Dagg, Beauden Barrett (3); Penalties: Barrett.Teams:New Zealand:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Richie McCaw (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Tamati EllisonIreland:
15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Dan Tuohy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy
Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Declan Fitzpatrick, 18 Donncha O'Callaghan, 19 Chris Henry, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Andrew Trimble