28 Jun 2009

All Blacks win fails to impress coach

7:49 am on 28 June 2009

It was a grumpy All Blacks coaching staff after the scratchy and unconvincing win over Italy last night in Christchurch.

The 27-6 result was the All Blacks' lowest ever score against Italy. It was 13-3 at half-time, prompting head coach Graham Henry to give the team a tongue lashing in the sheds.

Henry says they went back a couple of steps from the last game against the French, who were convincingly beaten 22-6 by Australia in Sydney last night, the Wallabies completing a perfect Tri Nations build-up with their fourth straight victory.

Henry praised the Italians but wasn't so pleased with his charges. He says the Italians' limited game plan worked and they defended well but the All Blacks have a lot of work to do before they play Australia in three weeks.

One positive was wing Joe Rokocoko's first Test try in almost two years while young lock Isaac Ross scored another try and was excellent with the ball in hand all night.

Ross sparked the only other try with a sizzling run finished off by debutant flanker George Whitelock, prompting some bemused praise from backs coach Wayne Smith.

Smith says the execution on attack was poor and it was only when Ross was in the backline that anything happened.

Italy's captain Sergio Parisse was cited after the match over an eye gouging incident on Ross.