New Zealand show no mercy in Scotland humiliation
It was a lopsided display as Rugby League World Cup co-hosts New Zealand made it two wins from two games with a crushing 74-6 victory over Scotland on Saturday.
New Zealand opened their 2017 campaign by defeating Samoa 38-8 last week and the 2008 champions showed no mercy in Christchurch, scoring 14 tries to one.
Scotland held New Zealand to an 18-18 draw at the 2016 Four Nations but there was no repeat of that as the Kiwis dismantled their Group B opponents thanks to hat-tricks from Te Maire Martin and Peta Hiku, and a Jason Nightingale double.
Shaun Johnson scored a try of his own in the second half to become New Zealand's all-time leading try scorer, having also made nine of 14 conversions.
New Zealand head coach David Kidwell made seven changes to the 17 who accounted for Samoa by 30 points last time out, as rejuvenated utility Elijah Taylor returned to the line-up for the first time since the 2013 World Cup and capped his comeback with a second-half try.
The Kiwis withstood an early onslaught, surviving by the skin of their teeth as Scotland were stopped underneath the posts at Christchurch Stadium.
That is as good as it got for Scotland, who were put to the sword by New Zealand, starting in the ninth minute.
Kenny Bromwich powered through for the opening try and Nightingale joined in on the action four minutes later - the Kiwis slicing through Scotland's defence with regularity and ease.
Nightingale added another before the interval, while Joseph Tapine, Te Maire Martin and Hiku posted four-pointers to put the New Zealanders up 28-0 at half-time.
It could have been more after 40 minutes if Johnson was more accurate with his boot - the New Zealand Warriors star only managing to execute two of six conversions in the first half.
New Zealand did not take their foot off the peddle in the second half - Russell Packer scoring the team's seventh try in the 43rd minute.
Outclassed and out of their depth, Scotland were helpless to stop the rot as Te Maire Martin, Dean Whare, Hiku, Johnson and Taylor got the ball down in the try zone.
The Scots, though, managed to salvage some pride with nine minutes remaining, crossing over for their first points of the match via Oscar Thomas.