All Blacks pound Canada at World Cup
OITA, JAPAN — It was never all about the score for the All Blacks.
With every respect due to Canada, New Zealand had bigger goals in mind for their Rugby World Cup pool match under the roof of the Oita Dome than the handsome win that was expected and delivered with breathtaking blitzes at the start of each half on Wednesday.
The 63-0 result was a let-off for the outgunned semi-professionals from Canada, and another good night for New Zealand, ruthlessly pouring eight tries, plus a penalty try, through a defence that missed 46 tackles. Its second convincing win from two matches propelled it closer to moving its title defence into the quarterfinals.
The All Blacks had boxes to tick, and enjoyed making big ticks in them.
Dual playmakers Richie Mo’unga at flyhalf and Beauden Barrett at fullback, playing their fifth test together, ran rings around the Canadians. Mo’unga was the maestro director, and Barrett was brilliant counterattacking from the back. Their scissors move from a scrum gave replacement scrum-half Brad Weber his second try. Mo’unga landed all eight of his goalkicks, and one from the sideline drew gasps from the entertained crowd of 34,411.
The gulf in class between the teams was apparent in the first minute as the All Blacks almost scored from the kickoff, making Canada scramble to hold up TJ Perenara between the posts. The try eventually came in the fifth minute, a penalty try after captain Kieran Read was interfered with while the All Blacks drove Canada’s scrum five meters backwards over its tryline.
That ignited the All Blacks into quick tries by Jordie Barrett and Williams, before they all got sloppy. But they were dominating almost every category and making most of the running. The All Blacks would make 15 handling errors, while achieving 94 carries over the gain-line to Canada’s 29.
Canada’s all-time record against rugby’s royalty fell to 06-0, with four of those losses coming at the World Cup. It marked Canada’s first shutout at the hands of the All Blacks although the Canadian men have conceded more points to New Zealand on four occasions, losing 73-7 (in 1995), 68-8 (at the 2003 World Cup), 64-13 (in ’07) and 79-15 (at the ’11 World Cup). In all, New Zealand has outscored Canada 376-54.