Today, the United States rugby team was the bug.
Sonny Bill Williams scored two tries in his return to New Zealand rugby, and the All Blacks scored 12 tries in total to decimate the United States 74 to 6, reports the Telegraph.
The United States scored on two penalty kicks by Adam Siddall. The closest the United States got was when New Zealand was ahead 5 to 3. It was 12 to 6 when Siddall scored his last penalty kick. At the half break, New Zealand was ahead 43 to 6.
Williams and Julian Savea each scored two tries, with Nathan Harris, Cory Jane, Patrick Tuipulotu, Charles Piutau, Joe Moody, Aaron Cruden, Israel Dagg, and Sam Cane contributing a try each. Cruden added four conversions, with Dan Carter adding three more.
Harris started the scoring with his try in the third minute of the match. Cruden missed two point afters, getting a second chance when the United States broke early.
Siddall hit his first penalty shot to get the United States in the game, then New Zealand scored again, this time Jane crossed the line and Cruden hit the extra.
Siddall scored his second penalty kick, making the score 12 to 6, and then the United States team became spectators, with New Zealand scoring the next 62 points in a row.
The Citizen is reporting that this first game in Chicago, Illinois, at Soldier Field as part of their Northern Hemisphere tour. This is the first appearance by the All Blacks in the United States in 34 years. The attendance was in excess of 61,000, more than three times last year’s attendance of 20,181 in Houston for the United States-Ireland match.
“It’s a great occasion,” All Blacks stand-in captain Kieran Read said. “We have the Northern Hemisphere tour and for us this game kicks it off really well. It has been great for us.”
The World Champion All Blacks simply overpowered the world-ranked 18th United States. Their Northern Hemisphere tour takes New Zealand to England, Scotland, and Wales through the month of November. England will be next, in Twickenham on November 8. Not much time to prepare for this juggernaut.
For the United States, it was a valuable learning experience to help them prepare for the upcoming campaign.
“We have had some good play,” said the Eagles’ Phil Thiel, who spent time with the Saracens, a professional rugby team in London, England, earlier this year. “There is a lot to be taken away from this as far as a learning experience.”
[Image courtesy of Dunya News]