SBW scores as NZ rout USA

2014-11-02 00:01
Sonny Bill Williams (Getty Images)

Chicago - Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams have returned to the All Blacks with impressive showings Saturday in a 74-6 rout of the United States to launch their Northern Hemisphere tour.


Code-hopping star Williams, at centre after two years in Australia's Rugby League, joined Julian Savea in scoring two tries in the romp ahead of Tests the next three weeks in England, Scotland and Wales.

"It's just awesome to be back in such a professional environment," Williams said. "I wasn't that good. Our forwards led the platform. we just took advantage of it."

Fly-half Dan Carter, the world record points scorer who has been out with a broken leg since the Super 15 final, played the final 30 minutes in his 101st All Blacks appearance, this one with primarily a second-level squad.

"Absolutely stoked to get back on the field," Carter said. "I had a few butterflies before the match.

"It was important for us. We have an important game against England next week. We worked on a couple things for that match."

The All Blacks humbled the 18th-ranked Eagles in their first US appearance in 34 years came before a record US rugby crowd of more than 61,000 spectators at Soldier Field, home of the NFL's Chicago Bears.

"To play in front of a crowd like this was lovely. This was something special," Carter said.

Nathan Harris, Cory Jane, Patrick Tuipulotu, and Charles Piutau added first-half tries for the reigning World Cup champions while Joe Moody, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg and Sam Cane struck in the second half.

"Some of the tries were unreal," said Carter, who especially praised the work of younger players trying to work their way into the lineup ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"We're looking forward to next year. We want to win back-to-back world championships and keep building as a team."

Fill-in captain Kieran Read, who along with Dagg and Jane were the only starters back from the 15 who beat Australia last month, was pleased with the All Blacks effort a week before they visit Twickenham.

"It was a pretty high quality game," he said. "There weren't too many stoppages and not too many dropped balls. It was an outstanding atmosphere.

"We have the Northern Hemisphere tour and for us this game kicks it off really well. It has been great for us."

But Williams said the romp was far from a statement game ahead of the European Tests.

"We got a bit loose," he said. "We still have some things to work on."

Harris opened the scoring and Dagg split two defenders and offered a backhand offload to Jane, who raced down the right sideline for a 12-3 lead.

The Americans, who managed only five training sessions since June, still seek their first try in four matches against the All Blacks, denied from five meters early and settling for two Adam Siddall penalties to pull within 12-6.

"It was a tough day at the office," US captain Todd Clever said. "The guys learned a lot and we played the whole 80 minutes so I'm proud of our boys."

Tuipulotu and Williams raced up the middle for tries 90 seconds apart, both off feeds from Ryan Crotty, and Williams flipped to Piutau for a run down the left to make it 31-6.

Williams faked a defender off his feet for asnother try and Read set up Savea's left wing run for a 43-6 half-time edge.

Massive prop Moody crashed in for a try over two US defenders, Cruden finished off a wide attack and Carter entered with 30 minutes remaining, promptly evaded two defenders and offloaded to Dagg for another try.


New Zealand

Tries: Sonny Bill Williams (2), Julian Savea (2), Nathan Harris, Cory Jane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charles Piutau, Aaron Cruden, Joe Moody, Israel Dagg, Sam Cane
Conversions: Cruden (4), Dan Carter (3)

United States

Penalties: Adam Siddall (2)


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