Aaron Smith Hat-Trick Inspires Italy Demo Job
“There had been pre-match speculation that Italy might prove more than just a speed bump to All Black ambitions. So much for that cosy theory,” The Guardian’s Robert Kitson reports from OL Stadium in Lyon. “By the end a brilliant New Zealand had accelerated so far out of sight they almost clocked three figures, a first-half hat-trick from the wonderfully sharp Aaron Smith just one of the highlights of a chastening night for the Azzurri.”
“It also provided a reminder, as if it were needed, that New Zealand cannot be discounted when the knockout stages of [the Rugby World Cup 2023] finally come around. The setbacks of the past month have clearly focused minds and a week’s rest has recharged them physically. The upshot was one of those nights when the All Blacks make rugby look so gloriously simple that the opposition barely know where to put themselves.”
New Zealand next plays Uruguay on 6 October.
Original article by Robert Kitson, The Guardian, September 29, 2023.