By Matthew Henry |BBC Sport|
|2019 Rugby World Cup: New Zealand v Canada|
|New Zealand: (28) 63|
|Tries: Penalty try, J Barrett, Williams, B Barrett, Ioane, S Barrett, Frizell, Weber (2) Cons: Mo’unga (8)|
|Canada: (0) 0|
Two-time defending champions New Zealand scored nine tries to thrash Canada and record their second convincing win at the 2019 World Cup.
Brothers Beauden, Jordie and Scott Barrett all went over as the All Blacks hit this World Cup’s highest score.
They were given a penalty try after four minutes and Jordie Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett also crossed before half-time.
Scott Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Brad Weber and Shannon Frizell also scored.
There were four tries in the first 10 minutes at the start of the second half as New Zealand tore their opponents’ defence apart.
The All Blacks move up to second in Pool B, one point behind Italy – out in front courtesy of two bonus-point wins – who they play after facing Namibia on Sunday.
The victory extends New Zealand’s winning run at World Cups to 16 matches – their last defeat was to France in the 2007 quarter-final – and continues their record of having never lost a pool game in the competition.
All Blacks clinical at both ends of pitch
This may not have been the most balanced encounter of the tournament – pitting the winners of the past two World Cups against the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament – but New Zealand’s attack was devastating.
They powered over the line inside 70 seconds but Canada were able to hold the ball up.
However it wasn’t long before the first try arrived and it did so in typically imposing fashion as New Zealand forced the Canada scrum back over the line under their own posts for a penalty try.
The All Blacks had threats throughout their team with fly-half Richie Mo’unga, who also kicked eight conversions, pulling the strings and Beauden Barrett a constant menace from his new position of full-back.
The Barrett brothers became the first sibling trio to start in a World Cup for New Zealand and the family hat-trick would have been completed even earlier had Scott not dropped the ball when over the line in the first half.
Beauden also had the chance to score a 10th All Blacks try, and take the team’s total to 70, but he inexplicably spilled the ball in the final minute when looking certain to score.
On the rare occasions New Zealand did have to defend they did so clinically, turning the ball over to repel Canada when they ventured into their 22.
New Zealand saw off one of their main rivals for the trophy, South Africa, in their first pool game and this emphatic win continues their ominous momentum as they bid for a third consecutive World Cup.
Conditions were very difficult – reaction
New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen: “We’ve just got to take that first 20 minutes of the second half and turn it into 80 minutes. If we can do that, we won’t be too far away.
“During that period, the team really came together and played good, controlled rugby.
“In really difficult conditions, the humidity is unbelievable and whilst people at home will be wondering why we dropped a few balls, it’s very, very difficult.”
The best stats from New Zealand’s win
- New Zealand have won each of their last 16 Rugby World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament’s history, while they also boast a 100% win rate in pool stage matches at the World Cup (30/30).
- Canada failed to score a single point for the second time in a Rugby World Cup game (0-20 v South Africa in 1995)
- This is the 32nd time a match has been won by 60+ points at the Rugby World Cup, with New Zealand winning 13 of those matches, more than twice as many occasions as any other side (England, Australia both five).
- Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Whitelock have each won their last 16 Rugby World Cup games, equalling Keven Mealamu for the all-time record of consecutive wins at the tournament.
- Rieko Ioane has scored 24 tries in 27 Tests for the All Blacks; no other player has scored more than 18 in Tests since the winger made his debut in November 2016.
- Richie Mo’unga slotted each of his eight kicks – only Leon MacDonald (12/12 v Tonga in 2003) has slotted more without missing for the All Blacks in a World Cup match.
New Zealand: B Barrett; J Barrett, Goodhue, Williams, Ioane; Mo’unga, Perenara; Moli, Coltman, Ta’avao, Tuipulotu, S Barrett, Frizell, Todd, Read (c).
Replacements: Taylor, Tu’ungafasi, Laulala, Whitelock, Savea, Weber, Crotty, Smith.
Canada: Parfrey, Hassler, Trainor, Hearn, Van Der Merwe; Nelson, McRorie; Sears-Duru, Howard, Keith; Olmstead, Keys; Rumball, Heaton, Ardron (c).
Replacements: Quattrin, Buydens, Ilnicki, Sheppard, Larsen, Mack, Paris, Coe