New Zealand 60-0 Ireland

By Lyle JacksonBBC Sport
New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams makes a break during the third Test against Ireland
New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams makes a break during the third Test against Ireland in Hamilton

New Zealand responded to criticism of their display in the second Test by crushing Ireland by a record margin in Saturday's third meeting in Hamilton.

The world champions scored nine tries - four in the first half, five more after the interval - in a ruthless display.

Flanker Sam Cane, centre Sonny Bill Williams with two, and wing Ben Smith crossed inside the first 23 minutes.

Hosea Gear, Liam Messam, Israel Dagg and Adam Thomson added further tries as the All Blacks sealed a 3-0 series win.

They also surpassed their previous best win - 59-6 in Wellington in 1992 - over Ireland as the weary visitors failed to summon the intensity that almost saw them secure a first ever win over New Zealand a week ago.

In Christchurch the hosts required a late Dan Carter drop-goal to snatch a narrow 22-19 victory.

This time the result was never in doubt as Steve Henson's men reacted to some less than flattering media coverage with an awesome display in the Waikato Stadium.

The World Cup winners were without record points-scorer Dan Carter but the performance of local favourite Aaron Cruden at fly-half meant he was not missed.

The Waikato Chiefs player was instrumental in the first three tries before having to depart injured after 25 minutes.

New Zealand got the opening try in the seventh minute after some patient play at the breakdown. Centre Williams fed Cruden whose lovely one-handed off-load put flanker Cane in for a try on his first international start.

Cruden provided another one-handed pass out of the tackle to send Williams away for a powerful 12th-minute touchdown.

Seven minutes later the Kiwis pounced again, Williams bursting through the Irish defence after Aaron Smith and Cruden's build-up play.

Cruden, who had converted the first two tries, picked up an injury so full-back Dagg added the additional two points for 21-0 with less then 20 minutes played.

Things got worse for Ireland as they surrendered possession in opposition territory when Paddy Wallace's pass came off Brian O'Driscoll's shoulder.

Cruden collected and took the tackle before feeding Conrad Smith who set up winger Ben Smith for his first international try.

Beauden Barrett, on for Cruden, scored his first points for the All Blacks with a penalty to make it 29-0 at half-time.

Ireland's cause was not helped when full-back Rob Kearney was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on just before the interval.

Flanker Cane scored his second try of the match within four minutes of the restart and then winger Gear saw off the attempted tackles of Keith Earls and Fergus McFadden to get in at the left corner for New Zealand's seventh try.

Dagg then got in on the try-scoring act as a grubber kick through from Williams sat up nicely for the Crusaders full-back who eased over for another superb score.

Barrett's conversion made it 53-0, equalling New Zealand's biggest winning margin over the men in green.

Ireland's deficit stretched to an embarrassing 60 when Thomson, just on the field, charged over and Barrett converted once more.

New Zealand: I Dagg; B Smith, C Smith, S B Williams, H Gear; A Cruden, A Smith; T Woodcock, A Hore, O Franks, L Romano, S Whitelock, L Messam, S Cane, R McCaw (capt).

Replacements: K Mealamu, B Franks, B Retallick, A Thomson, P Weepu, B Barrett, T Ellison.

Ireland: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, K Earls; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D Tuohy, D Ryan, K McLaughlin, S O'Brien, P O'Mahoney.

Replacements: S Cronin, D Fitzpatrick, D O'Callaghan, C Henry, E Reddan, R O'Gara, A Trimble.