In the only match each side has before the World Cup begins next week, New Zealand beat Tonga 56-8, scoring 10 tries to Tonga’s 2. Reports indicate that Thomas Leuluai and Benji Marshall both had good games, and that Steve Matai’s shoulder came thorugh unscathed. Jerome Ropati was the pick of the scorers, leaving the field with a hat-trick.
This result bodes very well for the Kiwis, and if Marshall and Leuluai have developed a combination then that goes a long way to solving the major problem the Kiwis have had since the retirement of Stacey Jones, that of lacking midfield creativity. Conversely, it might be seen as a major blow to Tonga, who had high expections and although will still be aiming for a semi-final spot you would have to think that Samoa and Ireland will be fancying their chances now.
UPDATE: News coverage with some video of the game. Marshall seemed involved in a lot of the tries.