New Zealand's rampant reserves annihilate Japan in Tokyo

George Bridge had a dream first test outing scoring two tries

George Bridge had a dream first test outing scoring two tries

While New Zealand scored the opening points from a Mo'unga penalty, Japan had the first try of the match after only four minutes through lock Samuela Anise who charged down and reclaimed a clearing kick by All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett.

The Brave Blossoms showed glimpses of what they can do, crossing the chalk on five occasions.

Speaking to media after the match, Bridge couldn't hide his delight at becoming an All Black, after years of promise with Canterbury and the Crusaders.

The shortness of the All Blacks preparation, unfamiliarity with one another and test football combined with the quality of Japan made this the sort of game that could easily go wrong at an alarming rate for the All Blacks.

"We had to work pretty hard for that, the United States of America team came out pretty hot so we really had to work hard".

"So it's probably a look to what we'll do against England [in a fortnight] as well, go to the wall, or whatever you want to call it, and mix it up a bit rather than slow the game down".

"There was a fair amount of risk going into the game", Hansen said of his team selection.

From the already well-known brigade Richie Mo'unga and Ngani Laumape confirmed their standing as players of the future - and in the case of the former, a player very much for the present.

Former Chiefs No 8 Michael Leitch was typically strong in leading Japan around the park and Brown was still positive about the promising signs ahead of hosting the World Cup next year.

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They played good rugby that was a triumph for their instincts and natural talents rather than any clever or detailed coaching.

"But when we can create speed and play the game - you saw tonight we've got some players that have a bit of x-factor and can score some good tries - if we can get a bit better at the contact area, who knows, we might be able to challenge the tier one teams".

"The mentality of our team has improved".

"We have seen them beat South Africa and beat France and they are building. Hopefully we can come back with a win".

But not Mo'unga, who was by no means alone in impressing.

One of the things they learned is that Jordie Barrett has a bit of starch in character as having returned to the starting side after a hard last outing against South Africa in Wellington, his first clearance kick was charged down and Japan scored.

Coles scored New Zealand's first try in the 14th minute after a breakout by Proctor and winger Nehe Milner-Skudder, put in space by a long pass from Laumape. Debutant winger George Bridge bagged a double, including one with his first touch as an All Black, after coming on at halftime.

Japan crossed the whitewash five times and Hansen said the 2019 World Cup hosts were getting "better and better".

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