All Blacks beat Baa-baas 31-22 to begin European tour
LONDON (AP) — New Zealand provided a chilling insight into its future strength after coming from behind to dispatch the Barbarians 31-22 at Twickenham on Saturday.
Trailing 17-5 after the invitational club coached by Robbie Deans raced out of the blocks, the All Blacks ran in four tries in the non-cap match played in showers.
The world champions, led by flyhalf Beauden Barrett for the first time, rested the majority of their senior players in favor of rookies and prospects who were able to pull clear in the third quarter. They debuted prop Tim Perry, hooker Asafo Aumua, and back Matt Duffie.
Only two of the Barbarians' lineup play their club rugby outside New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa, and their enterprise kept an impressive 62,546 crowd entertained until they ran out of steam.
New Zealand's line cracked twice inside the opening 14 minutes as flyhalf Richie Mo'unga crossed before an intercept by Steven Luatua enabled George Bridge to add the second.
TJ Perenara showed vision and then brilliant reflexes to start and finish the move that saw the All Blacks strike back, but the Barbarians continued to be the dominant force with some typically cavalier play, and when Sam Carter drove over they were 17-5 ahead.
Vaea Fifita's try ensured the All Blacks were seven behind at halftime.
They found the higher gear they needed to surge ahead in the third quarter, with three tries in six minutes.
Inside center Ngani Laumape powered over from a scrum, then replacement flanker Sam Cane took a similarly direct route to score.
The Barbarians were ragged now and when scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow chipped ahead for hooker Nathan Harris to gather and cross, New Zealand was up 31-17 and out of sight. Bridge added a consolation score in injury time.