All Blacks beat Fiji in World Cup warm-up
New Zealand 60 (32) -14 (0) Fiji
- New Zealand:
- Tries: Sivivatu, Slade, Hore, Thomson, Smith, Weepu, Muliaina, penalty Cons: Slade 4, Carter 3 Pens: Slade 2
- Tries: Serevelu, Goneva Cons: Baikeinuku 2
New Zealand's World Cup preparations got off to a stuttering start with a not entirely convincing 60-14 victory over Fiji in Dunedin.
The All Blacks rested key players, with fly-half Dan Carter on the bench and Colin Slade starting his first Test.
And while the hosts ran in four unanswered tries before the break it was a half littered with mistakes.
Fiji scored two tries in the second half and four more tries from the All Blacks could not disguise the rust.
New Zealand were never in danger of suffering the same fate as Australia, who were humbled 32-23 by Samoa on Sunday, but neither were they able to dominate their visitors, who are ranked 14th in the world.
Slade, who produced a competent 60-minute performance, Fiji-born winger Sitiveni Sivivatu, Andrew Hore and Adam Thomson all crossed for the All Blacks before the break but Fiji outplayed their hosts after the restart, scoring two brilliant tries through scrum-half Nemia Serelevu and winger Vereniki Goneva.
And further tries from Conrad Smith, Piri Weepu (who replaced the ineffective Jimmy Cowan at scrum-half in the second half) and Mils Muliaina were unable to mask what was a disappointing display by the World Cup hosts.
New Zealand have four more Tests - all in the Tri-Nations tournament - before their opening World Cup match against Tonga on 9 September.
"There's definitely some work to do but it's a start and there were some good things there," All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said.
"We may not have got all the detail dead right but the things we've worked on you can see are going to come and we've just got to put a bit of work in before we climb into next week I guess."
New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Zac Guildford, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Colin Slade, Jimmy Cowan; Wyatt Crockett, Andrew Hore, Ben Franks, Jarrad Hoeata, Ali Williams, Adam Thomson, Richie McCaw (captain), Liam Messam. Replacements: Corey Flynn, John Afoa, Sam Whitelock, Jerome Kaino, Piri Weepu, Dan Carter, Ben Smith.
Fiji: Iliesa Keresoni; Timoci Naqusa, Albert Vulivuli, Ravai Fatiaki, Napolioni Nalaga; Seremaia Baikeinuku, Nemia Serelevu; Campese Ma'afu, Sunia Koto, Deacon Manu (captain), Sekonaia Kalou, Rupeni Nasiga, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera, Sakiusa Matadigo. Replacements: Viliame Veikoso, Setefano Somoca, Josefa Domolailai, Malakai Ravulo, Vitori Buatava, Taniela Rawaqa, Vereniki Goneva.