Coles scores four tries as All Blacks put down physical Fiji

Monday, 12 July 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

New Zealand's Dane Coles (L) runs with the ball during their test match against Fiji 


WELLINGTON (Reuters): Hooker Dane Coles scored four tries, three off the back of the rolling maul, to help New Zealand see off a spirited Fiji side 57-23 in an entertaining test under the roof of the Otago Regional Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday.

The All Blacks were expecting a much stiffer contest than in their 102-0 romp against a weakened Tonga side last week and the Fijians delivered with a physical challenge their hosts struggled to contain at times.

While a home win never really looked in doubt, five-pointers for the Fijians from Albert Tuisue and Mesulame Kunavula as well as a penalty try will give New Zealand coach Ian Foster much to ponder ahead of next week’s second test in Hamilton.

The All Blacks ran in nine tries in total – three in the last 15 minutes as their opponents tired - but still posted their lowest tally in six tests against the Fijians going back to 1987.

The All Blacks led 21-6 at the end of the first quarter after fullback Jordie Barrett opened their account and David Havili marked his return to test rugby with two tries from inside centre.