Veteran New Zealand hooker Dane Coles on Saturday said the All Blacks would not be getting carried away with their stunning 96-17 dismantling of Italy at the Rugby World Cup.
Coles, 36, scored two tries off the bench as New Zealand ran in 14 tries against their hapless opponents, who had otherwise enjoyed an impressive start to their Pool A campaign with victories over Namibia and Uruguay.
The All Blacks also beat Namibia 71-3 two weeks ago, meaning they have scored 25 tries in their last two matches, with 15 different players dotting down.
They still need to beat Uruguay next week just to reach the quarter-finals, and Coles said the three-time champions would be guarding against over-confidence.
“It’s a step in the right direction but we haven’t achieved anything yet,” said Coles.
“We’re not getting carried away. We can be pretty proud of the way we stuck at it, we were pretty disciplined, we did the simple things really well.
“But (we will) keep our feet on the ground and get stuck into Uruguay next week.”
Fellow veteran Sam Cane, 31, who also came off the bench on Friday night in Lyon, said he was pleased with how the team never took their foot off the gas, despite the match being over long before half time, when New Zealand led 49-3 after scoring seven tries.
“I thought it was very clinical, pretty ruthless. I think it’s a byproduct and reflection of the last two week’s hard work on the training park, so it’s really pleasing,” he said.
And despite the one-way nature of the contest between two Tier 1 nations, Cane said the All Blacks did not get bored of scoring tries and putting on a show.
Head coach Ian Foster had suggested after the game that their crushing victory had been more enjoyable for fans to watch than Ireland’s ferocious but low-scoring 13-8 victory over South Africa in Pool B last week.
“They’re different contests, obviously we were having fun out there but we were pretty determined to keep piling on points and taking our opportunities,” said Cane.
“A lot comes down to us nailing the moments in front of us and staying disciplined to that. Sure there are other games that are a real dingdong battle that could go either way.
“You enjoy both contests but they’re just different.”