The New Zealand wing was the beneficiary of a cross-field kick after six minutes

An acrobatic Will Jordan try gave New Zealand the perfect start to their must-win Pool A clash against Italy in Lyon. The winger was the beneficiary of a pinpoint Jordie Barrett, making his return from injury in the 12 jersey, cross-field kick after just six minutes at OL Stadium.

The All Blacks had been knocking on the door, stringing together several threatening phases of possession in the Italian 22 and eventually the pressure told as Barrett expertly took advantage of the space Jordan found himself in on the right wing.

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The Crusaders man’s acrobatic finish was so clean that referee Matt Carley awarded the try on-field without needing to go to the TMO despite Italy scrum-half Stephen Varney’s despairing attempt to prevent him scoring.

That finish gave Jordan an incredible 24th try in just 27 Tests, some hit rate for the 25-year-old. The technique used was impeccable and has become a big part of the modern game, a skill first seen in rugby league.

Jordan’s try was met with huge fanfare on social media.

Former England centre Jeremy Guscott wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Will Jordan is a gift to rugby.”

Irish journalist Murray Kinsella added: “What a finish from Will Jordan! What a kick from Jordie Barrett! Beautiful.”

Things got even better for Ian Foster’s All Blacks as Aaron Smith applied the finishing touch to a maul try before Mark Telea jinked his way over and Ardie Savea galloped through a permeable Italy defence to put New Zealand 28-3 ahead barely a quarter of the way into the game.

And when Smith grabbed his second of the night things were starting to look ugly for Kiwi Kieran Crowley’s Italy.

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