In a Rugby World Cup showdown that will be remembered for both its sheer dominance and a late-game twist, New Zealand showcased their prowess by trouncing Namibia 71-3. However, the jubilation was tempered by a red card issued to Ethan de Groot for a dangerous collision.
The All Blacks, who had been on a two-match losing streak, came into this contest determined to reassert their dominance. The rain-soaked field in Toulouse did little to dampen their spirits as they quickly established their superiority. Cam Roigard set the tone by crossing the try line inside 90 seconds, and the relentless Damien McKenzie soon followed with his first of two tries in the 20th minute. The rain seemed powerless to slow them down.
By half-time, New Zealand had already built a formidable 38-3 lead, with tries from Roigard (2), McKenzie (2), and Leicester Faingaanuku, who displayed impressive resilience, riding two tackles to score. McKenzie, who was instrumental in dictating the pace of the game, deservedly added another try to his name, while Anton Lienert-Brown added a sixth just before the break.
The second half saw Namibia struggling to keep up, and New Zealand continued their relentless assault. De Groot, Dalton Papali’i, and David Havili all added tries before the hour mark. The excitement was palpable as winger Caleb Clarke notched up try number 10 in the 67th minute.
However, just as the All Blacks appeared unstoppable, De Groot’s night took a sour turn. A high tackle on Adriaan Booysen inside the final 10 minutes initially earned De Groot a yellow card. But a ‘bunker’ review quickly escalated it to a red card, making De Groot the first New Zealand player to be sent off during a World Cup match. Despite being reduced to 14 players, the All Blacks remained in control, and Rieko Ioane capped off the night with a closing-stage try.
This victory propels New Zealand to second place in Pool A, setting the stage for their next encounter with Italy after a week of rest.
On the other side of the pitch, Namibia faced an uphill battle from the start. Tiaan Swanepoel managed to reduce their deficit to 12-3 with an assured penalty kick in the opening 11 minutes. However, their underdog status was evident as they struggled to make headway in attack. A historic second-ever World Cup try against the formidable All Blacks never materialized.
To add to Namibia’s woes, center Le Roux Malan left the field in the first half with a serious ankle injury, casting a shadow over their brave performance. The match was temporarily halted for seven minutes as Malan received medical attention and left the field to the applause of both sets of players and supporters.
Namibia’s journey in the tournament continues with a match against France in six days’ time, followed by a clash with Uruguay in their final Pool A fixture.
In a game filled with highs and lows, New Zealand’s commanding performance and De Groot’s red card will undoubtedly be topics of discussion among rugby enthusiasts and fans of the sport’s unpredictability.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rugby World Cup New Zealand vs Namibia
What was the final score of the Rugby World Cup match between New Zealand and Namibia?
New Zealand triumphed over Namibia with a final score of 71-3, showcasing their dominance with 11 tries.
Who were the standout players for New Zealand in this match?
Damien McKenzie and Cam Roigard were standout players for New Zealand, with McKenzie top-scoring with 26 points and both players crossing the try line twice.
Why did Ethan de Groot receive a red card in this game?
Ethan de Groot received a red card for a dangerous collision, initially earning a yellow card for a high tackle on Adriaan Booysen inside the final 10 minutes. A ‘bunker’ review subsequently upgraded it to a red card.
What was significant about this match for New Zealand?
This match was significant for New Zealand as it marked their 50th win at the Rugby World Cup. It was also important for them to bounce back from a two-match losing streak.
How did Namibia perform in this game?
Namibia struggled to keep up with New Zealand’s relentless attack. They managed to score only 3 points, courtesy of Tiaan Swanepoel’s penalty kick in the opening 11 minutes.
What is the next match for New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup?
After this victory, New Zealand’s next match is against Italy following a week of rest.
What are the challenges facing Namibia in the upcoming matches?
Namibia faces the challenge of playing France in their next match in just six days, followed by a clash with Uruguay in their final Pool A fixture. Additionally, they have to cope with the injury to center Le Roux Malan, who left the field with a serious ankle injury during this game.
More about Rugby World Cup New Zealand vs Namibia
- Rugby World Cup Official Website
- BBC Sport – Rugby World Cup
- New Zealand Rugby
- Namibia Rugby Union
- Damien McKenzie – New Zealand Rugby
- Cam Roigard – New Zealand Rugby
- Ethan de Groot – New Zealand Rugby
- Rugby Union Rules – High Tackle
- Le Roux Malan Injury – Namibia Rugby
- Rugby World Cup Pool A Standings