All Blacks hammer tough Canucks
The All Blacks were their usual ruthless self running in 12 tries as they hammered the brave Canadians 79-15 in Pool A of the World Cup in Wellington.
New Zealand won and they won by a lot but it was not all roses in the Wellington wind and rain.
First of all Dan Carter was not there and he will not be there for the rest of the World Cup. That is a horrible prospect for New Zealand.
Then the big win was not without some bits of really shoddy rugby - shoddy relieved from time to time by sudden brightness. They were first of all too strong for the Canadians and destroyed them at the scrum, taking four against the head and scoring a pushover try. Then they were too fast for the Canadians, especially Zac Guildford who scored four tries.
Then Israel Dagg limped off. The All Blacks would not like him to join Carter away from the World Cup.
There we have it - three reasons not to be satisfied with this big win over the willing Canadians.
Canada actually scored first after DHT van der Merwe had charged down a Colin Slade kick. Sonny Bill Williams was penalised at a tackle and Ander Monro goaled. 3-0 after two minutes. Not that anybody blushed. This was not going to be an upset.
The lead lasted just over five minutes as Sonny Bill Williams pushed forward and Colin Slade broke - the flyhalf then threw a long, 25-metre, perfect pass to Guildford who just squeezed in the left corner despite Conor Trainor's tackle. Despite the wind, which was behind the Canadians, Slade converted from touch. 7-0 after six minutes.
Now, wind or no wind, New Zealand took over. They destroyed the first Canadian scrum and Kieran Read gave Victor Vito, playing on the flank in the stead of Richie McCaw. Vito scored. 12-3 in 12 minutes and three minutes later Slade goaled a penalty.
New Zealand went though sharp phases till the produced an overlap for Israel Dagg who scored in the right corner. 20-3 after 20 minutes.
Andrew Hore, captaining New Zealand, won a turnover and Jimmy Cowan grubbered downfield. Trainor got to the ball first but in falling on it shunted it over the goalline with his knees and Guildford was there to score. 25-3 after 20 minutes.
The Canadians were penalised and 10 metres from his own line Cowan tapped and gave to Guildford who raced downfield, playing inside to Mils Muliaina and the 99-Test veteran raced on to score a try whose execution was a simple as it sounds. 32-3 after 29 minutes,
At this stage DHT van der Merwe, the strong Canadian back, hobbled off
New Zealand won a Canadian line-out. Sonny Bill Williams grubbered cleverly. Muliaina grabbed the ball and gave it to Guildford who scored. 37-3.
Then Canada made a penalty into a five-metre line-out. They bashed and were held up. That gave them a five-metre scrum. They went wide left and Trainor got over in Muliaina's tackle. 37-8, the half-time score.
Cowan passed a wayward pass from a line-out - high, floating and intended for nobody. Trainor nipped in and footed ahead. He was first to the ball and slid over with it for the try which Monro converted. 37-15 after 41 minutes.
Cowan made up. Sonny Bill forged ahead and gave Smith a break. The tall centre played inside to Cowan who scored at the posts. 44-15 after 44 minutes.
Isaia Toeava came on for Dagg, Piri Weepu went to flyhalf and Slade to the wing.
At a scrum Kaino was packing at No.8 and galloped over for a try - too strong. 51-15 after 51 minutes.
This was followed by a period of poor handling and an unusual substitution - Brad Thorn for hobbling Colin Slade. Thorn went to lock and Vito to wing.
New Zealand shoved their five-metre scrum over the line for a touch down by Kaino. 65-15 after 67 minutes,
Guildford's fourth try was New Zealand's most delightful. Just over his 22 Weepu chipped, Guildford caught it on the full and raced 70 metres to score. 72-15 after 77 minutes and inn the last move of the game Vito took a quick little pass inside from Weepu to score under the posts. 79-15 and the final whistle went.
Man of the Match: Big powerful and impressive All Black flank Jerome Kaino.
Moment of the Match: Piri Weepu's chip for Zac Guildford's fourth try.
Villain of the match: Nobody.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Guildford 4, Vito 2, Dagg, Muliaina, Cowan, Kaino 2, SB Williams
Cons: Slade 4, Weepu 4
Tries: Trainor 2
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Colin Slade, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Victor Vito, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Samuel Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore (captain), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Brad Thorn, 19 Anthony Boric, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Andy Ellis, 22 Isaia Toeava.
Canada: 15 Matt Evans, 14 Conor Trainor, 13 DTH van der Merwe, 12 Ryan Smith, 11 Phil Mackenzie, 10 Ander Monro, 9 Ed Fairhurst, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Chauncey O'Toole, 6 Adam Kleeberger, 5 Jamie Cudmore, 4 Jebb Sinclair, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Pat Riordan (captan), 1 Hubert Buydens.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Hamilton, 17 Scott Franklin, 18 Andrew Tiedemann, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Nanyak Dala, 21 Sean White, 22 Nathan Hirayama.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Carlo Damasco (Italy)
TMO: Matt Goddard (Australia)
By Paul Dobson