November 3, 2018 / 7:45 AM / 18 days ago

Rugby-New Zealand’s rampant reserves annihilate Japan in Tokyo

TOKYO, Nov 3 (Reuters) - A second string All Blacks side featuring eight debutants crushed Japan 69-31 in a thriller of a point-fest in Tokyo on Saturday with centre Ngani Laumape running in a hat-trick for the world champions.

New Zealand scored 10 tries with flyhalf Richie Mo’unga contributing 22 points as New Zealand taught next year’s World Cup hosts a tough lesson in front a record crowd for a rugby match in Japan of 43,751 at the Ajinomoto Stadium.

Hooker Dane Coles scored New Zealand’s first try on his return to the side after almost a year out with injury while debutant winger George Bridge scored a brace, including one with his first touch as an All Black, after coming on at half-time.

Japan competed in attack by scoring five tries to contribute to the 100-point tally for the match but could not contain the All Blacks in defence, missing 25 tackles on the way to an overwhelming defeat.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant

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