Defending champions New Zealand made it two wins out of two in Pool C with an efficient 58-14 victory over a determined Namibia at London’s Olympic Stadium today.
Namibia are the lowest-ranked side in the Rugby World Cup, meaning damage limitation was always going to be the aim against the All Blacks.
New Zealand scored five tries before the break, before adding another four tries in the second half. The highlight for the African team was a fine second-half try by Johan Deysel.
The All Blacks have not lost in 26 matches in the group stages of the World Cup –– a record stretching back to the inaugural tournament in 1987 –– and remain on target for a likely quarterfinal clash with either Ireland or France.
But Steve Hansen’s side might be slightly disappointed with their performance against Namibia, as they were often matched at the breakdown and did not produce the avalanche of tries many had predicted.
New Zealand, who beat Argentina in their tournament opener, face Georgia in Cardiff next Friday, while Namibia, who are yet to win a World Cup game in 16 attempts, play Tonga next Tuesday.
Once number eight Victor Vito had opened the scoring for the All Blacks after six minutes, strolling over in the left-hand corner after a break by Julian Savea, the writing was on the wall for Phil Davies’s side.
And not even Namibia’s captain and Saracens legend Jacques Burger, who threw himself into the fray with typical abandon and spent most of the game receiving treatment, could stem the All Blacks tide.
Man-of-the-match Nehe Milner-Skudder crossed twice before the break and there were also first-half tries for centre Malakai Fekitoa and fly-half Beauden Barrett.
Although Namibia’s defeat was comprehensive, it suggested they are heading in the right direction: at the 2003 World Cup they were on the receiving end of a 142-0 defeat by Australia, while they shipped 80 points against South Africa and Wales in 2011.