New Zealand full-backs Cam Roegaard and Damien McKenzie scored two goals each as the All Blacks ran in 11 tries against Namibia. Ethan De Groot’s late red card for a high tackle spoiled a near-perfect response to the opening defeat to France.
Last updated: 09/15/23 at 10:33 PM
New Zealand beat Namibia 71-3 in Toulouse with a ferocious attacking display to exit Group A at the Rugby World Cup.
The All Blacks started the tournament with a defeat to hosts France in Paris, but had no such problems in their second match as Cam Roegaard and Damian McKenzie both scored tries to help Ian Foster’s side collect a bonus point and move into second place in the group.
Namibia have not won in 23 attempts at World Cup finals since 1999, and did not look strong enough to pose problems for New Zealand – for whom Ethan de Groot received a red card in the dying minutes – in a match played largely in torrential rain.
The three-time winners drew first blood after just two minutes. McKenzie started for Leicester Fainga’anuku to collect the ball and offloaded it for Roigard to take over and score under the posts, with McKenzie converting comfortably.
It took just six more minutes for the lead to extend to 12 points when Roegaard received the ball from a scrum and went for his second attempt.
Namibia’s night took another turn for the worse when midfielder Le Roux Malin suffered a serious knee injury and left the field on a stretcher while clutching an oxygen mask, moments after Tianne Swanepoel pulled one back from the penalty spot.
Minutes later, New Zealand took the lead further when McKenzie passed the ball over the Namibia backline to make it 19-3.
The bonus point was secured for the All Blacks 15 minutes before half-time, as Fainga’anuku shone and showed excellent hands at his side’s fourth try, before two tries in just over a minute made the score unassailable before half-time. .
First, he took full advantage of the slippery conditions with two well-controlled kicks down the ground to reach behind Namibia and fall on it as it crossed the try line, then McKenzie added his second goal of the match when he received from Roegaard from the scrum and crossed the whitewash to make it 38-3 at the interval. interval.
De Groot ensured New Zealand started the second half in the same way they had finished the first, smashing the prop down just 30 seconds after coming off the bench despite the attention of two Namibian defenders.
Beauden Barrett made Dalton Papale’s next effort, darting wide before crossing the ball with a brilliant pass for Papale to pass under the posts, minutes before David Havili took advantage of a brilliant run through the middle from Roegaard to go over. line and make it 57-3.
Caleb Clarke scored New Zealand’s 10th try when he got on the end of a cross kick from Richie Mo’unga to slide over the line.
De Groot was sent to the foul basket with eight minutes to play – later upgraded to a red card for dangerous play – but that did not stop New Zealand’s attack, and substitute Rico Ioane scored to make it 71-3 late on.
Roegaard: McKenzie’s style suits my game
Roegaard, who was named player of the match on his first Test start for the All Blacks, said he enjoyed the half-back line-up with McKenzie.
“It’s very surreal. The atmosphere here is great. I think we were very lucky because our strikers controlled the game, which gave me a good platform to play,” Roegaard said.
“On the other hand, credit to Naimbia, they showed a lot of passion and heart.
“I suppose we are [Roigard and McKenzie] We did some practice iterations together and kind of started defining how we wanted to play.
“I know his attacking style suits me too, so I really enjoyed playing with him tonight.”
New Zealand faces their toughest remaining pool stage match when they take on Italy on Friday 29 September in Lyon (8pm GMT).
The match is likely to decide who finishes second behind France in Group A, with the home team beating the All Blacks in their opening match of the tournament.
Namibia’s next match against the hosts is at Marseille on Thursday 21 September (8pm GMT), and the minnows are likely to face another difficult evening.