All Blacks inflict second-heaviest ever defeat on Samoa to send stark warning to British and Irish Lions

Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Sonny Bill Williams New Zealand All Blacks
Sonny Bill Williams congratulates Julian Savea, scorer of two tries in the rout (Source: Getty)

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen reminded British and Irish Lions boss Warren Gatland that the clock is ticking ahead of their two sides' first meeting in Auckland next Saturday.

After watching his side blitz 12 unanswered tries past Samoa in their final warm-up game before the Lions series begins, Hansen warned his fellow countryman that he was running out of time to nail down his tactics and selection.

The All Blacks ran riot against Samoa, scoring 12 tries to inflict upon the Pacific Islanders the second heaviest defeat in their history.

Gatland's Lions have the opportunity to face a similar warning shot back at their future opponents when they take on a strong Maori All Blacks team in Rotorua on Saturday.

Read more: Even if they are thrashed by the Maori All Blacks, criticism of the Lions is unwarranted

"Do I expect them to do something different tomorrow? We'll see," said Hansen.

"He keeps telling us he's got something up his sleeve other than his arms. We'll wait to see, but he's starting to run out of time."

A tour to New Zealand always provides a stern examination for any rugby team, yet the sheer scale of the task facing the British and Irish Lions this year was made unnervingly clear by New Zealand's destruction of Samoa.

New Zealand v Samoa
(Source: Getty)

The reigning world champions scored 15 more points and seven more tries in the single match than the Lions have managed from their entire tour so far.

From their four games against the NZ Provinicial Barbarians, the Blues, the Crusaders and the Highlanders, Warren Gatland's Lions have scored 63 points and notched five tries.

Samoa, who are ranked above Six Nations side Italy by World Rugby, have only once before suffered as damaging a loss — a 101-14 defeat in 2008 to New Zealand.

Read more: How the All Blacks win - New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew on how the World Cup champions sustain a winning culture

Despite this being their first international Test match for nearly six months, the All Blacks machine appeared greased at the wheels and ready for action as soon as centre Anton Lienert-Brown collected from fly-half Beauden Barrett to open the scoring after 20 minutes.

In what was a glittering team performance, Barrett shone particularly brightly by pulling the strings and scoring two tries of his own.

Star names Julian Savea, Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Dagg all touched down but perhaps even more foreboding for Gatland's team was the strength in depth Hansen demonstrated he had on his bench.

Every player got a run out yet it didn't appear to disturb the fluency of the men in black who scored 50 points in the second half alone.

Related articles