All Blacks cruise past hapless Namibia
MATCH REPORT: New Zealand bounced back in sublime fashion, beating Namibia 71-3 in the World Cup Pool A match at Stadium de Toulouse on Friday.
At the back of a 13-27 defeat to France, the All Blacks were determined to record a resounding victory over the African side, Namibia.
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And they certainly did.
Ian Foster’s men scored 11 tries to nil.
Cam Roigard scored two tries and set up two more as flyhalf Damian McKenzie bagged 26 points to kickstart the All Blacks’ tournament
The sole response from Namibia was an 11th-minute Tiaan Swanepoel penalty.
Namibia, who came into the game at the Stadium of Toulouse still searching for a first-ever World Cup victory in their seventh consecutive tournament appearance, having opened with an 8-52 defeat by Italy – their 23rd straight loss.
And it was never going to happen against the All Blacks, who avoided a misfiring display like that of a much-changed France team against Uruguay on Thursday.
Going into the game, New Zealand had scored 20 tries in the two Tests between the nations, averaging one every eight minutes of play.
True to form, any resistance was short-lived as Cam Roigard crossed just 90 seconds after a break by Leicester Fainga’anuku.
Namibia spurned an early shot at goal to go for the corner, much to the delight of the sell-out crowd.
But possession was coughed up in contact and the All Blacks destroyed the African scrum on the line, Roigard spinning from the base for a simple try.
Tiaan Swanepoel got Namibia on the scoreboard with an 11th-minute penalty before play was stopped for several minutes after Namibia centre Le Roux Malan sustained a nasty-looking ankle injury in what appeared to be an attempted tackle.
McKenzie skipped over for the All Blacks’ third try after the re-start and Fainga’anuku’s power from short range then proved too much as the wing bundled over the whitewash through three tackles to guarantee a bonus point.
As heavy rain swept into the stadium, Anton Lienert-Brown scored a neat try, collecting a McKenzie pass on the bounce, grubbing the ball past Divan Roussouw, then hacking ahead and touching down over the line.
Swanepoel was guilty of several kicking errors that gifted possession back to New Zealand and from one such mistake, McKenzie grabbed his second after Roigard broke clear from a scrum to make it 38-3 at half-time.
There was a glut of tries in the second period as Namibia tired.
Ethan de Groot crossed just seconds after coming on with his first touch before Dalton Papali’i sliced through and David Havili was played in by the influential Roigard.
Namibia skipper Johan Deysel spilt the ball to end a rare period of attack from his side before Caleb Clarke and Rieko Ioane crossed for New Zealand.
De Groot was yellow carded for a no-arms tackle attempt, later upgraded to red by the bunker review system, in the only blip for New Zealand, for whom lock Sam Whitelock drew level with Richie McCaw on 148 Test appearances.
Man of the match: The award goes to Cam Roigard. Playing in his first World Cup start, the scrumhalf had a field day, not only did he score a brace of tries, but he also set up two tries.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Roigard 2, McKenzie 2, Fainga’anuku, Lienert-Brown, De Groot, Papali’i, Havili, Clark, Ioane
Cons: McKenzie 8
Red card: Ethan De Groot (New Zealand, 71 – foul play, dangerous shoulder charge)
New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Caleb Clarke, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Cam Roigard, 8 Ardie Savea (captain), 7 Dalton Papali’i, 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Tupou Vaa’i, 21 Aaron Smith, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Rieko Ioane
Namibia: 15 Cliven Loubser, 14 Gerswin Mouton, 13 Johan Deysel (captain), 12 Le Roux Malan, 11 Divan Rossouw, 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Damian Stevens, 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Prince Gaoseb , 6 Wian Conradie, 5 Tjiuee Uanivi, 4 Johan Retief, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Jason Benade.
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Desiderius Sethie, 18 Haitembu Shifuka, 19 19 PJ Van Lill, 20 Adriaan Booysen, 21 Max Katjijeko, 22 Jacques Theron, 23 JC Greyling
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)
*Additional reporting: AFP