RECAP: Canada v New Zealand
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup pool match between Canada and New Zealand in the Oita Prefecture.
This match under the dome of Oita Stadium in Japan is as near to a foregone conclusion as you can get in Sport.
It may test the Japanese determination to support the underdog, for Canada, who are the last team to qualify for Japan and did so by beating Hong Kong, certainly are the underdog and, brave and determined though they will be, are not going to come close to winning the match.
Since 1980, Canada and New Zealand have met six times, three times at World Cups.
New Zealand won all six matches with World Cup scores of 29-13 in 1991, 68-6 in 2003 and 79-5 in 2011.
Prediction: New Zealand will win. They will also be concerned about getting their rugby right for all 80 minutes. It would be most un-New Zealand-like for them to slacken off. It could be a huge score but let’s be conservative and suggest a New Zealand victory of over 50 points.
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Canada: 15 Patrick Parfrey, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Peter Nelson, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Tyler Ardron (captain), 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Lucas Rumball, 5 Conor Keys, 4 Evan Olmstead, 3 Cole Keith, 2 Eric Howard, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Quattrin, 17 Hubert Buydens, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Mike Sheppard, 20 Josh Larsen, 21 Phil Mack, 22 Taylor Paris, 23 Andrew Coe.
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Atu Moli.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Nepo Laulala, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Ryan Crotty, 23 Ben Smith.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)