New Zealand rout Nambia at rugby World Cup
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New Zealand's drive to become the first team to retain the rugby World Cup continued on Thursday night with a straightforward workout against Namibia. The Africans went into the match with damage limitation in mind against an All Blacks side without some of its star names.
New Zealand coach Steve Hansen gave a runout to several squad members as the defending champions made it two wins out of two by rolling over Namibia 58-14 at the Olympic Stadium in east London.
Colin Slade started at full-back in place of Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett came in for star fly-half Dan Carter.
The changes hardly affected the well-oiled machine. New Zealand scored five tries before the break and racked up another four in the second half.
Namibia are the lowest ranked side in the World Cup and their highlight - in what was always going to be a one-sided contest - was a gutsy second half try by Johan Deysel.
New Zealand, who beat Argentina in their Pool C tournament opener, face Georgia in Cardiff next Friday, while Namibia, who are yet to win a World Cup game in 16 attempts, play Tonga on Tuesday in Exeter.
That match in western England could be a turning point, said Namibia skipper Jacques Burger. "Obviously we're disappointed with the result against the All Blacks but happy with a lot of things in the match," he said.
"We fought well and I'm proud of the boys. Going into the next match we can take a lot. All is not lost and our aim is still to win one game at the World Cup and we're on track."
Namibia coach Phil Davies singled out his side's lineout for special mention saying they had competed on an equal footing with the All Blacks. Burger added: "We know we can score against the best in the world and we'll have to keep that positive vibe," he said. "Realistically the next two games will be the ones we have to target."
On Friday night in Pool C, Argentina will look to get their campaign back on track following their opening day defeat against New Zealand. The South Americans travel to Kingsholm in Gloucester to play Georgia who got past Tonga in their first match of the tournament.