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Italy struggle to come to terms with New Zealand hammering

Italy head coach Kieran Crowley said his team had been "monstered" by New Zealand following their 96-17 mauling in a World Cup Pool A encounter on Friday.

Crowley had boldly declared before the game that other nations had caught up with New Zealand but on Friday in Lyon it was clear Italy was not among them.

"They just monstered us. It was like a training run for them," Crowley told reporters.

"I think we won 33% in the scrum and 50% in the line out.

"They played bloody well but we gifted them a few tries in a few areas, but we just need to chuck it in the bin and go next week (against France in our final pool game)."

Italy captain Michele Lamaro found it difficult to digest his team's performance.

"Obviously it's tough to even say something. We've learned a very big lesson. We have to stick together," Lamaro said.

"Obviously it didn't go our way. Sometimes you have to focus on your basics. We didn't perform at the scrum, line-out, we didn't perform with the front five, the front eight."

Despite the massive loss, Italy still have another opportunity to make the knockout stages if they can beat hosts France in their final game.

"We have got another chance and we have to prepare well now. Obviously sometimes it is not your day but we have to stick together," Lamaro said. REUTERS