Rugby: Māori All Blacks top rusty Manu Samoa in front of empty Sky Stadium in Wellington

A rusty Manu Samoa have fallen to the Māori All Blacks, 35-10 in front of an empty Sky Stadium in Wellington.

With the capital in COVID-19 alert level 2, players had the arena to themselves on a wet and cold Saturday night, with the Māori side scoring a five-tries-to-one victory.

It was Samoa's first match since the 2019 Rugby World Cup and it showed, with only five players from that squad taking the field in Wellington.

With several high-profile Super Rugby talents amongst them, the Māori showed superior fitness and finesse in an otherwise tightly-fought 80 minutes. 

And it was a Chiefs duo who put the Māori on the board early, with impressive first-five Kaleb Trask stabbing in a pin-point kick for winger Shaun Stevenson who calmly collected the greasy ball and dotted down for the first of two tries on the night.

Hawke's Bay winger Neria Formai swooped on a loose ball to level the scores shortly after but that's as close it would get for the visitors.

Another Chiefs star, Sean Wainui scored late in the half after an offload from Super Rugby teammate Alex Nankivell, and despite Samoan protests about an earlier Ash Dixon pass, the try was awarded and the Māori had the halftime lead.

Manu Samoa got within 11 thanks to the steady boot of Rodney Iona, but from there, the Māori controlled territory, set-piece, and possession to run in 21 unanswered points.

Dixon, Whetukamokamo Douglas and Stevenson added second-half five-pointers for the hosts - all expertly converted by Otere Black (4) and Josh Ioane (1) to complete a perfect night for goal-kickers.

The two sides meet again next week at Mt Smart Stadium ahead of the All Blacks test opener against Tonga. 

Māori All Blacks 35 (Stevenson x2, Sean Wainui, Dixon, Douglas tries; Black 4 con, Ioane con) bt Manu Samoa 10 ( Formai try; Iona con, pen) HT: 21-7