Two tries a piece for Sevu Reece, Anton Leinert-Brown and Ben Smith, along with further tries from Angus Ta’avao, Joe Moody, Sam Whitelock, Jordie Barrett and TJ Perenara saw New Zealand claim a fantastic 11-try bonus-point victory in Pool B.
It was Namibia who got off to a brighter start and were ahead after three minutes when Damien Stevens slotted over a beautiful long-range penalty close the the left-hand touchline.
However, the All Blacks hit back and were in for their opening try of the day on seven minutes as Barrett sent over a lovely cross-field kick to the right-hand side near the Namibian line where Reece simply caught the ball and touched down. Barrett couldn’t add the extras with the conversion.
Namibia had a couple of good chances and held the All Blacks out until the 21st minute, but they couldn’t keep out Lienert-Brown, who broke through the opposition defence, raced toward the line, held off a couple of tackles to score their second five-pointer of the game. Barrett skewed the kick to the right of the posts leaving it at 10-3.
The minnows were refusing to give up and by the half hour mark they were back within a point of the back to back World Cup champions as Stevens kicked a further two penalties as they put some serious pressure on New Zealand.
On 31 minutes the All Blacks were reduced to 14-men as prop Nepo Laulala was handed a yellow-card for a dangerous tackle.
Despite being down a man it was the men in black that struck next as replacement front-rower Ta’avao finished of 12 phases beside the Namibian line by barrelling over near the posts. This time Barrett made no mistake with the conversion to stretch their advantage.
The All Blacks secured the bonus-point with the final play of the half as they finished off a set-play in the Namibian 22 by sending the ball out to Smith, who darted through a gap in the defensive line to score his side’s fourth try of the match. Barrett added the extras to leave it at 24-9 come the half-time whistle.
It took only two minutes of the second-half for New Zealand to register their fifth try with prop Moody powering over the line from a quick pick and go from a ruck. Barrett kicked the extra two to make it 31-9.
Five minutes later and Lienert-Brown was in for his second of the game after a brilliant break from Barrett inside his own half, where he raced forward before a one-two with Jack Goodhue, and then a simple pass to Lienert-Brown who scored in the corner. Barrett sent a fantastic conversion over from the right-touchline.
Another five minutes further and New Zealand sent the ball from the left hand side of the pitch to the right, with some great depth in the attacking line, with the ball eventually finding its way to Reece who charged forward before stepping inside and over the line for his second try. Barrett converted once more to give the All Blacks a 45-9 lead with just under 30 minutes remaining.
With 56 minutes on the clock captain Whitelock cleverly touched the ball down off the base of the post for his team’s eighth try with Barrett smashing over the easy kick as Namibia began to show signs of tiredness.
Eleven minutes later and Leinert-Brown was centre of another brilliant move in open-field, bursting through the defence, and while being tackled he offloaded beautifully to Smith, who got over for his brace in the left-corner. Barrett pinned the conversion to make it a 50-point margin.
New Zealand were reduced to 14-men once again when substitute prop Ofa Tuungafasi was shown a yellow card for a similar tackle to Laulala.
Despite being a man down the All Blacks got their tenth try with four minutes remaining through Barrett, as he made an unstoppable run close to the line to get over. He converted his own try to make it 66-9.
With little over a minute left in the game New Zealand showed some incredible skill as they broke down the left-wing, with replacement scrum-half Brad Weber producing an outrageous behind the back offload to fellow sub Perenara who finished superbly in the corner. Barrett failed to convert as the match ended 71-9.
New Zealand will now hope to end their pool stage campaign with a 100% record when they take on Italy next Saturday, while Namibia will be looking for a first win at the World Cup when they face Canada the following day.
All Blacks Player Ratings
Joe Moody (7), Codie Taylor (7), Nepo Laulala (5), Brodie Retallick (6), Samuel Whitelock (7), Shannon Frizell (7), Sam Cane (7), Ardie Savea (8), Aaron Smith (8), Jordie Barrett (9), George Bridge (6), Anton Lienert-Brown (9), Jack Goodhue (7), Sevu Reece (8), Ben Smith (8)
Jones Makes Spy Claims After England Training
England head coach Eddie Jones has made some big claims following his side’s training session earlier today
England head coach Eddie Jones has claimed that someone was spying on his team’s training session earlier today in Japan.
Jones’ England are preparing for the biggest game of their Rugby World Cup campaign so far as they face the All Blacks on Saturday. However, Jones has made a claim that someone was filming his side during training but that he has nothing to hide.
“There was definitely someone in the apartment block (across from the training ground) filming, it might have been a Japanese fan. You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore. Don’t care, mate. Don’t care. We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do. We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s… and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes,” he said.
The Aussie also admitted that he used to spy on team’s years ago but that he doesn’t see the point anymore.
“We used to do it [secretly film opposition training sessions]. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need. Everyone knows what everyone else does. There are no surprises in world rugby anymore,” he added.
In a press conference filled with madness from Jones he also stated that most of New Zealand’s media reporters are “fans with keyboards”.
Jones is known for playing mind-games before matches and has heaped the pressure on the All Blacks saying that his side have nothing to lose while their opposition have the weight of the world on their shoulders and it will be tough for them to be mentally prepared.
“We don’t have any pressure, mate. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks. They [the All Blacks] have got to be thinking, they’re looking for a third straight World Cup, so there will be pressure there. I don’t think they are vulnerable but the pressure is real. The busiest guy for them will be Gilbert Enoka. They will be talking about it the whole week. It’s potentially the last game for their greatest ever coach (Steve Hansen), and for their greatest ever captain (Kieran Read),” he finished.
England and Jones will need to play the perfect game on Saturday when they take on the All Blacks on Saturday as the Kiwi’s are chasing a third successive Rugby World Cup title and it looks as though Jones will be trying to unsettle them before a ball is even kicked.
Hansen Explains Read’s Absence at Training
All Blacks captain Kieran Read was nowhere to be seen during the team’s training on Tuesday but head coach Steve Hansen has explained the situation
New Zealand are preparing for their Rugby World Cup semi-final showdown with England on Saturday and while the rest of the squad were training Read was absent with concerns growing over his availability but Hansen insists that the back-rower will be fit for the last-four clash.
“There is no issue. You didn’t see him train because he was in the gym on the bike. He got a tight calf from the game the other day and we didn’t want to put him out on a wet track today. Yeah, 100 per cent,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hansen has admitted that replacement forward Matt Todd will definitely not be available this weekend due to injury but should be in contention for next weekend.
“He is making good progress but not fast enough so he won’t be available (for the England game). He should be right if we are lucky enough to play another game next week,” he added.
With the game seeing two of the games best coaches line-up against each other in Eddie Jones and Hansen, the latter thinks that it would be stupid not to expect his opposite number to have a few tricks up his sleve ahead of the game.
“We got the same question from the Irish last week. You’ll be naïve as a coach not to expect the opposition to do something different. That is their job. You practise it and you implement it. If it works, you are a superstar and if it doesn’t you’re an idiot. It’s a fine line we live, us coaches,” he finished.
New Zealand are looking to make it to yet another World Cup final with victory on Saturday as they continue their quest to win three Webb Ellis Cup’s in a row. However, they know that it will be no easy task against an English side in full flight and fans will be hoping their star captain will be available when the teams are announced later in the week.
Officials Confirmed for RWC Semi-Finals
World Rugby have announced the officials that will take charge of this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals
World Rugby have confirmed that Nigel Owens and Jerome Garces will be the referees for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals at the International Stadium Yokohama in Japan.
Following yesterday’s controversy surrounding South African referee Jaco Peyper, where he was pictured posing with Welsh fans and appeared to be mocking the sending off of France forward Sebastien Vahaamahina, World Rugby confirmed that he was not considered for selection.
That means that Wales’ Owens will take charge of England’s clash with reigning back to back World Cup holders the All Blacks on Saturday, with French duo of Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere as his assistants. While South Africa’s Marius Jonker is the TMO.
Meanwhile French referee Garces will be the man in the middle of Wales’ last four showdown with the Springboks on Sunday, with England’s Wayne Barnes and New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe as his assistants. Fellow Kiwi Ben Skeen will take to role of TMO.
Speaking on the appointments chairman of World Rugby Sir Bill Beaumont congratulated those selected explaining they are the best in the business.
“I would like to congratulate Nigel and Jérôme, the assistant referees and TMOs on their selection for the semi-finals. These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semi-finals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend,” he said.
The officials were selected after a review of their performances so far in the tournament as well as making it a neutral selection for each game. As for Peyper it remains to be seen what his full punishment will be following an investigation by World Rugby.
SANZAAR to Consider Japan’s Rugby Championship Inclusion
Ulster star set for period on sidelines following ankle surgery
Jones Makes Spy Claims After England Training
The Low-down on Ulster’s New Signings
“Awful, actually terrible” – Fitzgerald blasts one Ireland star.
Ruan Pienaar quits Montpellier
Rugby World Cup6 days ago
Wallabies Star Worried About Playing Three Games in a Row
Premiership1 week ago
Leicester Eying Up England Coach Post-RWC
International1 week ago
Scottish Ace Considering International Future
Rugby World Cup1 week ago
Mixed News for England Ahead of Wallabies Clash
Rugby World Cup6 days ago
Scotland Respond to World Rugby Charges
Premiership1 day ago
Highlights & Report | Paddy Jacksons stars as London Irish Pip Wasps.
Rugby1 week ago
New Japanese League to be Set Up
Rugby World Cup1 week ago
RWC Quarter-Final Referees Confirmed