28 Jun 2009

All Blacks' win fails to impress coach

6:40 am on 28 June 2009

All Blacks coach Graham Henry says his team has plenty of work to do before the Tri-Nations, following an unconvincing 27-6 defeat of Italy in Christchurch on Saturday night.

Joe Rococoko scored his first test try in almost two years, while Isaac Ross and George Whitelock scored the first tries of their test career for the home side, ensuring victory for New Zealand at AMI Stadium. Flyhalf Luke McAlister added three conversions and two penalties.

Italy fullback Luke McLean added a penalty in each half for the visitors, who seemed content to tackle, disrupt the ball and kick for territory.

The win is New Zealand's lowest score against Italy, and a far cry from the last time the two sides faced off last year, when the All Blacks ran in 11 tries.

The All Blacks' next match is against Australia in the opening match of the Tri-Nations series on 18 July in Auckland.

Coach Graham Henry said the Italians defended well, but he is very disappointed with the way his team played. They will have to improve before they play Australia, he says.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen also said the match was disappointing. "The execution was poor, decision making poor and we just weren't effective across the park," he said.

Meanwhile, Italian captain Sergio Parisse was cited after the match over an eye gouging incident on Ross.