Fantastic New Zealand defeated Italy in Pool A with a whopping 14 tries and 96 points to go to the World Cup quarterfinals.
The All Blacks, who knew they would be eliminated if they lost, sprinted to a thumping 49-3 halftime advantage.
After only 33 minutes, scrum-half Aaron Smith had already scored a hat-trick with the final score of 96-17.
If the All Blacks defeat Uruguay in their final pool encounter on Thursday, they will automatically qualify for the knockout rounds. New Zealand 96-17 Italy: All Blacks move to cusp of Rugby World Cup quarter-finals
New Zealand Rugby Upcoming Match’s
5 October: New Zealand v Uruguay (20:00)
6 October: France v Italy (20:00)
Italy must defeat the tournament hosts France in their upcoming game to get to the quarterfinals.
With their victory, the All Blacks move up to second place in Pool A, level on points with Italy, with whom they now have a better head-to-head record.
Who plays who in the quarterfinals?
14 October: Quarter-final 1: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D (Stade de Marseille), 16:00 – currently Wales v Japan
14 October: Quarter-final 2: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A (Stade de France), 20:00 – currently Ireland v New Zealand
15 October: Quarter-final 3: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C (Stade de Marseille), 16:00 – currently England v Fiji
15 October: Quarter-final 4: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B (Stade de France), 20:00 – currently France v South Africa
World Cup semi-finals
The winners of the games on 14 October play each other in the first semi-final on 20 October and the winners of the matches on 15 October face each other in the last four on 21 October.
World Cup final
The Rugby World Cup winners will be crowned in Paris on 28 October.
The outcome of New Zealand’s encounter versus Italy, which was basically a winner-take-all contest, had put their spot in the knockout rounds in jeopardy. But after losing to France on the first day of the tournament—their first-ever World Cup pool-stage defeat—the All Blacks have destroyed Namibia 71-3 and have scored more than 90 points against Italy.
It was New Zealand’s biggest victory at the competition since they defeated Portugal 108-13 in 2007. It matched the 96 points pool rivals France earned against Namibia last week. Rugby World Cup All Blacks games
Will Jordan made a spectacular diving catch in the corner after catching Beauden Barrett’s beautiful crossfield kick for Ian Foster’s team.
Smith, Mark Telea, and Ardie Savea all scored in four furious minutes after Italy’s comeback with a penalty.
Following the resumption, the All Blacks scored four tries—Brodie Retallick, Dalton Papali’i, Dane Coles, and Damian McKenzie—to lead 75-10 after 66 minutes. Before Anton Lienert-Brown scored New Zealand’s final try five minutes from the end, Jordan and Coles each added their second points of the game.
Italy suffered a humiliating defeat as a result, while New Zealand’s standing as one of the tournament favorites was restored.