Rugby World Cup: Nine try All Blacks swamp Namibia
New captain Sam Cane led the All Blacks` B team on a nine-try blitz to demolish Namibia 58-14 in the World Cup on Thursday.
London: New captain Sam Cane led the All Blacks` B team on a nine-try blitz to demolish Namibia 58-14 in the World Cup on Thursday.
Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea got two tries each and the All Blacks had their bonus point try within 30 minutes as the superiority of the top-ranked side told over the world number 20 minnows.
Namibia were brave and the All Blacks were not completely fluid. But there was never any chance of an upset as they controlled 71 percent of possession.
The All Blacks made wholesale changes to the side that opened their title defence with a 26-16 win over Argentina and lost Liam Messam to injury before the match started.
But they had enough power to produce an uncompromising pack and their backs tore Namibia`s defence to shreds with Sonny Bill Williams unleashing all his tricks from cheeky offloads to the sidestep to the powerful direct running.
The All Blacks had points on the board within four minutes.
At the kick-off, their pack drove Namibia from the 22-metre line to the halfway where they won two quick penalties with fullback Beauden Barrett slotting the second.
Within two minutes it was the All Blacks backs in action, stretching the Namibian defence to breaking point to allow a supporting Victor Vito to score the opening try.
Man-of-the-match Milner-Skudder (twice), Malakai Fekitoa and Beauden Barrett followed him over in the first half with Barrett adding three conversions and a penalty.
A pair of penalties by Theuns Kotze put Namibia on the board as the All Blacks turned with a 34-6 lead.
The All Blacks were held to four tries in the second half, two to Julian Savea and one each to Ben Smith and Codie Taylor.
Kotze kicked a third penalty for Namibia and Johan Deysel scored his try which brought the biggest cheer of the night from the crowd. "I thought we did quite well," Deysel said after.
"We gave away a few stupid tries, but I think that was a lack of experience," he added.
Some of the All Blacks tries were textbook, working Namibia from side to side at pace until the gaps opened, but others were the result of audacious skill particularly from Williams.
When he appeared sandwiched in a swarm of defenders Williams managed to free an arm to offload for Fekitoa`s try.
He was again central in Milner-Skudder`s second try, stooping at full pace to flick the ball off the ground allowing Savea to unselfishly forego the chance to score and fire a long pass to the right wing.
Barrett`s try was from a 40-metre run in which he glided past Namibia`s most feared defender Jacques Burger with ease.
At times the All Blacks were guilty of trying to be too clever resulting in unforced errors and when they conceded a try to Deysel 10 minutes into the second half coach Steve Hansen decided to unload the serious talent he had on the bench.
Namibia were the last team to take the field in the tournament. Their attempts to provide a valiant opposition in their first ever match against the All Blacks centered around veteran flanker Berger and experienced halves Theuns Kotze, Eugene Jantjies.
But their defence was exposed, they had few chances to run and kicking for territory was erratic.
Namibia, who have been in every World Cup since 1999 have now lost all 16 matches they have played and have become the second team behind Japan to concede more than 1,000 points in the competition.