New Zealand A thrash Romania in Bucharest
November 26, 2000

New Zealand A finished their four -match European tour with a convincing 82-9 victory against Romania on Saturday.

The New Zealanders scored a total of 12 tries, 11 of which were converted by young Cantabrian fullback Ben Blair, who also scored a try in a personal tally of 27 points.

New Zealand A's forwards provided a solid platform for their backs to show their full range of skills.Bay of Plenty's winger Rico Gear scored a hat-trick of tries, while replacement Rua Tipoki, from North Harbour, contributed two. Orene Ai'i, Slade McFarland, Kelvin Middleton, Tony Brown, Scott McLeod and Justin Collins also scored tries.

The result replaced Romania's 60-0 loss to Ireland in 1986 as the biggest defeat in their test history,and New Zealand A coach Robbie Deans was especially pleased with the effort of his players.

``We put in an 80-minute performance, which was a good way to finish,'' Deans told NZPA. ``They were a very physical side but we showed the benefit of the time we have spent together and were able to impose our game on them and play at pace. We created fast ball and they just weren't able to stay with us. There was some good work all-round.''

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