USA score first-ever try vs. All Blacks in 104-14 defeat

Rugby

New Zealand got back to winning ways as they romped to a 104-14 victory over the United States in Washington on Saturday in a lopsided test match in which the Eagles at least secured their first-ever try against the All Blacks.

New Zealand, who had not played in the U.S. since 2016, totally dominated in their first outing since a 10-match winning streak was snapped by South Africa in the final game of the Rugby Championship.

Will Jordan scored three tries, Richie Mo’unga added another and kicked nine conversions for an All Blacks team that ran in a total of 16 tries, including nine in the first half alone.

“I know they’ll be disappointed with the scoreline but it’s about experience for them,” All Blacks head coach Ian Foster told reporters.

“And the reality is I think they were a little shell-shocked through the first five minutes and it took them a while to actually figure out that they could play against us.”

Prior to the start, American captain Bryce Campbell dropped to one knee at the halfway line as he presented a white, No. 11 U.S. jersey in honor of Sean Wainui, the Maori All Blacks player who died in a car crash on Monday.

The All Blacks then performed the haka to honor Wainui and it drew wild applause from the over 40,000 fans in attendance before the visitors made a blockbuster start to the test match at the home of the NFL’s Washington Football Team.

The All Blacks had their attack firing but were ultimately unable to eclipse their record test victory, which was set at the 1995 World Cup in South Africa when they beat Japan 145-17.

“When you play the best tackle team in the world that’s what’s going to happen for 80 minutes,” Eagles coach Gary Gold said. “It’s a very tough lesson, but it is a lesson and we will learn from it, we most certainly will.”

Billed as the 1874 Cup, which is a reference to the first account of organised rugby being played in the United States, the match was designed to grow interest in a nation hoping to stage a future Rugby World Cup.

For the All Blacks, the match marked the start of a run of five tests in consecutive weeks with Wales, Italy, Ireland and France their other opponents.

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