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All Blacks ease past Uruguay to book RWC quarterfinal spot

MATCH REPORT: New Zealand cantered to the bonus-point victory they needed to secure qualification for the World Cup quarterfinals with an 11-try 73-0 win over Uruguay on Thursday.

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Fullback Damian McKenzie starred for the All Blacks with a try in each half, two conversions and a brilliant one-handed offload for Will Jordan to score the first of his two tries.

Richie Mo’unga, who also kicked five conversions, Cam Roigard, Fletcher Newell, Leicester Fainga’anuku with a hat-trick and Tamaiti Williams also crossed in the whitewash.

On a night of celebration, veteran lock Sam Whitelock set a new record of 23 World Cup appearances, surpassing the marks of compatriot Richie McCaw and England’s Jason Leonard.

However, they did lose prop Tyrel Lomax to a recurrence of significant knee injury early on.

New Zealand must now wait and see if they win Pool A or finish second, depending on whether Italy can topple France on Friday.

But following similar thrashings of Namibia and Italy, this took their tally to 36 tries and 240 points in their last three matches since their opening pool defeat to France.

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New Zealand thought they had taken the lead in the eighth minute but scrumhalf Roigard lost the ball in grounding it and Uruguay survived.

The All Blacks were much less crisp and precise than in their 14-try demolition of Italy a week earlier and were guilty of several handling errors.

Uruguay initially played with the same effervescence as in valiant defeats to France and Italy and thought they had taken the lead when Manuel Ardao dived over in the corner on 13 minutes.

But a desperate last-gasp tackle from centre Anton Lienert-Brown just forced the tournament’s top jackler into touch.

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New Zealand again thought they had scored when McKenzie went over but that too was chalked off for a neck-roll in the build-up.

Uruguay wilt

McKenzie was not denied for long, stepping inside a tackler to finally get New Zealand on the board on 20 minutes.

Flyhalf Mo’unga converted and then soon ran in a second try, with both coming from five-metre scrums as the All Blacks machine started to purr.

McKenzie was on fire and collected his own grubber before flicking the ball inside to Jordan while narrowly avoiding stepping into touch for the wing to scamper over under the posts.

The All Blacks were deadly from close range and from another five-metre scrum, Roigard dummied and stepped his way over the line to bring up the bonus point.

Mo’unga kicked three conversions and New Zealand led 26-0 at the break.

The second half quickly turned into an unstoppable rout.

Replacement prop Newell broke a tackle to go over from close range and then wing Fainga’anuku took a huge miss-pass from Jordan to streak in down the flank.

Sustained pressure on the Uruguay line then saw McKenzie exploit a gap to dart over for his second.

From another five-metre scrum, slick handling sent Jordan in for his second in the corner.

It was past the hour mark and Uruguay were tiring as New Zealand attacked from deep to send Fainga’anuku in for his second.

Uruguay wilted and replacement prop Williams added his name to the try-scorers before Fainga’anuku completed his hat-trick.

Man of the match: The award has to go to All Black fullback Damian McKenzie. He was a constant threat with ball in hand and scored tries and created tries during the 80 minutes. His one-handed pass to Will Jordan in the first half was a thing of beauty.

The scorers:

For New Zealand:
Tries: McKenzie 2, Mo’unga, Jordan 2, Roigard, Newell, Fainga’anuku 3, Willimas
Cons: Mo’unga 5, McKenzie 2, B Barrett 2

For Uruguay: None

Teams:

New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Leicester Fainga’anuku, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Cam Roigard, 8 Luke Jacobson, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Tupou Vaa’i, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ethan Blackadder, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Caleb Clarke.

Uruguay: 15 Rodrigo Silva, 14 Gaston Mieres, 13 Tomas Inciarte, 12 Andres Vilaseca (captain), 11 Nicolas Freitas, 10 Felipe Etcheverry, 9 Santiago Arata, 8 Manuel Diana, 7 Lucas Bianchi, 6 Manuel Ardao, 5 Manuel Leindekar, 4 Ignacio Dotti, 3 Diego Arbelo, 2 German Kessler, 1 Mateo Sanguinetti.
Replacements: 16 Guillermo Pujadas, 17 Matias Benitez, 18 Ignacio Peculo, 19 Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 20 Santiago Civetta, 21 Agustin Ormaechea, 22 Felipe Berchesi, 23 Juan Manuel Alonso.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Jordan Way (Australia)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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