Quick Bit: After losing the first Rugby World Cup pool stage match in their history, New Zealand look ahead to their next game against Namibia. It’s a rematch from the 2019 pool stages, when New Zealand won 71-9, and the Welwitschias know that a wounded All Blacks side could be an even more dangerous proposition.
New Zealand return to action at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and head into their next Pool A match against Namibia in uncharted territory. The All Blacks had never lost in the pool stages of a World Cup before, and after being thoroughly outplayed for much of their 27-13 defeat by France in the tournament opener, Ian Foster’s side need to produce a response.
In their way are a Namibia side appearing at their seventh World Cup, though in the previous 23 matches they’ve played at the tournament since their debut in 1999, the Welwitschias are yet to taste victory. They’ve faced New Zealand at each of the last two World Cups, losing 58-14 in 2015 before a 71-9 thumping by the All Blacks in Japan four years ago.
The All Blacks may have started well against France, scoring their only two tries within the first five minutes of each half, but slowly lost their grip on the game as it wore on, with Les Bleus pulling away in the second half to record a 14-point victory, New Zealand’s heaviest in World Cup history.
Namibia also secured first blood in their opener against Italy, via the boot of Tiaan Swanepoel, but the Azzurri had already crossed for two converted tries by the time Gerswin Mouton scored the Welwitschias’ only five-pointer. Italy ran in five more tries in the second half, including three in the final 10 minutes, and Namibia will need to bring their A-game and then some to ensure this wounded All Blacks side don’t run up a cricket score.
The Sporting News are following the match live, providing live updates and commentary below.
New Zealand vs. Namibia live score
Tries: Roigard (2), McKenzie (2), Fainga’anuku, Lienert-Brown
Conversions: McKenzie (4)
New Zealand vs. Namibia live commentary, highlights
44 mins: Namibia win a penalty in the New Zealand 22 and look to play a set move off the short line-out, but Van Jaarsveld gets his throw all wrong and the All Blacks turn it over
41 mins: Swanepoel resumes proceedings in Toulouse with a long kick down-field, and New Zealand won’t be planning on spending much time in their own 22 from the kick-off.
HT: We’re back for the second half with New Zealand on top, but can Namibia find a way through this black wall of defence to perhaps cross for a five-pointer of their own?
HT: The All Blacks lead by a massive 35 points at the break, scoring six tries and conceding just one penalty goal at the other end. Scrum-half Cam Roigard had crossed for two tries inside the first eight minutes of his maiden test start, and McKenzie soon darted over for New Zealand’s third. Fainga’anuku’s power brought try number four, Lienert-Brown’s skill did likewise for five, and McKenzie finished off a Roigard break to add the sixth right on half-time.
40 mins: Half-time – New Zealand 38-3 Namibia.
39 mins: TRY – New Zealand 38-3 Namibia! A superb sixth for New Zealand! Roigard darts from a scrum on halfway and races into the back-field. He’s got McKenzie on his shoulder and offloads to his half-back partner, who slides over for his second try and adds the conversion to open up a 35-point gap at the break!
36 mins: TRY – New Zealand 31-3 Namibia! An amazing individual try! The ball is thrown from left to right and comes to Lienert-Brown on the far touchline. He kicks ahead and gives chase, grubbering again before Loubser can get there, and the centre races onto the loose ball to ground it for the All Blacks’ fifth try! McKenzie adds the two, and what a show New Zealand are putting on in Toulouse.
34 mins: The bounce of the ball denies us the try of the tournament so far! Winning a line-out on their own 22-metre line, the All Blacks look left and throw the ball through several pairs of hands. McKenzie and Havili’s offloads put Barrett into space, but his kick over the top bounces dead just before Roigard can ground it!
31 mins: New Zealand elect to scrum just five metres from Namibia’s tryline, but the Welwitschias pack stand their ground and win a much-needed free-kick.
28 mins: Off the back of a New Zealand scrum, Roigard kicks wide towards Clarke, but he’s reeled in by the defence before he can race into the open space. McKenzie’s long kick in behind the defence from the following play is grounded in-goal by Loubser, gifting the All Blacks possession from the goal-line drop-out.
25 mins: TRY – New Zealand 24-3 Namibia! Now Fainga’anuku has his try! Taking a flat ball from the back of a line-out, the hulking winger barges his way through plenty of tackles and bundles his way over for five more All Black points! McKenzie’s conversion strikes the upright, as the rain buckets down in Toulouse.
22 mins: New Zealand ship the ball wide once more looking for the bonus-point, but Lienert-Brown’s offload over the top to Fainga’anuku goes forward and play is called back for another scrum!
20 mins: TRY – New Zealand 19-3 Namibia! There is number three! Fancy flicks apiece from Tu’ungafasi and Barrett opens up space for Jacobson down the left, but Mouton races back to cut the flanker down short of the line. Namibia are stretched though, and McKenzie takes advantage of this to scythe through the disjointed line and dive under the posts! The Chiefs fly-half converts his own five-pointer, and there’s clear daylight between the sides now.
18 mins: Namibia centre Le Roux Malan has picked up a nasty, nasty leg injury in the process of making a tackle, bringing the game to an immediate halt as he’s safely taken from the field with applause from all sides of the stadium. That’ll most likely be his tournament over, which is such sad news for this tight-knit group.
17 mins: The All Blacks are denied a third! From the latest penalty, Retallick brings the ball down at the line-out and the maul is soon rolling towards the line. Taukei’aho has the ball at the back and grounds it over the line, but the TMO steps in after spotting obstruction from Whitelock and Tu’ungafasi, ruling out the try and awarding Namibia a penalty instead!
15 mins: A long, wide pass bounces kindly for Clarke, but he’s denied a try after being held up by four Namibian defenders. It comes back left in the hands of McKenzie, but desperate Welwitschias defence forces the ball loose and play comes back for a penalty!
13 mins: Namibia’s scrum holds firm on this occasion, and it’s tossed out wide to Mouton, who steps inside Jacobson’s tackle before being shunted into touch by the All Blacks’ scramble defence.
11 mins: PENALTY – New Zealand 12-3 Namibia. The underdogs have their first points! Whitelock is pinged for hands in the ruck, and after nothing comes of the advantage, Swanepoel steps up from 45 metres to slot over a three-pointer for the Welwitschias.
8 mins: TRY – New Zealand 12-0 Namibia! The Welwitschias’ scrum is obliterated by the All Blacks, who put on one hell of a shove and Stevens’ feed spills out on New Zealand’s side. Savea breaks off the base with ball in hand and offloads to Roigard, who dives over for a second try in eight minutes! McKenzie pulls the conversion wide, with the All Blacks already in firm control of this one.
7 mins: A let-off for Namibia! A loose ball allows the All Blacks to break out of their own 22 at pace. Barrett charges down the right flank and kicks ahead for McKenzie, who slides over to dot the ball down! The TMO is called in to assist, but replays show the fly-half grounded the ball short and it’ll instead be Namibia’s feed at the scrum!
5 mins: Strong carries from Uanivi and Conradie take Namibia into the New Zealand 22 for the first time, and hefty support at the breakdown wins the Welwitshcias a penalty in scoring position!
3 mins: TRY – New Zealand 7-0 Namibia! The All Blacks are over already! They start on an immediate front foot despite bruising defence from Namibia, and Barrett chips wide to Fainga’anuku. He flicks the ball out to Havili before scooting from the following ruck, and Roigard is there to collect the winger’s inside offload and race over the line! McKenzie adds the two, and that’s exact the start Ian Foster will have been hoping for.
Kick-Off: Aaron Smith leads them, and the All Blacks lay down the challenge as Kapa o Mango thunders around this packed-out arena. And It’s New Zealand who’ll get us underway, as Beauden Barrett sends the kick-off deep into Namibia’s half!
5 mins from kick-off: The anthems are underway in Toulouse, both being be sung with pride and passion, before New Zealand head to the halfway line for one more pre-match ritual…
10 mins from kick-off: There’s a sea of black shirts in the crowd as the teams prepare to trudge out onto the pitch, and here they come, walking either side of the Webb Ellis Cup trophy itself!
15 mins from kick-off: Less than a quarter of an hour to go, and the Stadium Municipal in the French rugby heartland of Toulouse is all set for what should be a free-scoring affair with plenty of points notched at either end. The Stade Ernest Wallon a few miles down the road usually hosts the city’s rugby matches, but the football stadium is packed to the rafters as we await the arrival of both teams onto the pitch.
30 mins from kick-off: There are no late changes to either side’s matchday 23 as time ticks down to the first whistle, as Ardie Savea, captain at short notice following a warm-up injury to Sam Cane last week, prepares to lead out the men in black with only one goal in mind – victory. Namibia skipper Johan Deysel scored his side’s only try against the All Blacks in 2015; can history repeat itself here?
45 mins from kick-off: One New Zealander is the only surviving member of both the 2011 and 2015 World Cup triumphs, and starts tonight for a record-equalling 148th cap. Sam Whitelock draws level with the legendary Richie McCaw as the All Black’s highest appearance maker, playing at lock alongside his ever-present partner in crime, Brodie Retallick.
60 mins from kick-off: A first pool stage defeat at any Rugby World Cup sees the All Blacks enter this game in unique circumstances, especially for a side featuring several of the players who’ve won two of the past three tournaments. New Zealand were also beaten by South Africa in their final warm-up game, but they’ll be confident they can return to the winners’ circle against the Springboks’ African neighbours.
75 mins from kick-off: The All Blacks and Welwitschias have faced off at the past two tournaments, with New Zealand posting two big victories, and Namibia know they’ll need to be on top form to prevent the three-time champions from really hitting their straps in Toulouse.
90 mins from kick-off: Hello and welcome to live coverage of the latest match at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Three-time champions New Zealand suffered a first-ever pool stage defeat to hosts France in their opener, and will look to get back to winning ways against Namibia.
New Zealand vs. Namibia confirmed line-ups
It’s all change at the back for New Zealand, with only fullback Beauden Barrett and centre Anton Lienert-Brown keeping their places from the opening day defeat. Two-try winger Mark Telea is replaced by Leicester Fainga’anuku down the left edge, who the new half-back pairing of Cam Roigard and Damian McKenzie will be looking to find at every opportunity.
Up front, the long-time lock partnership of Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock packs down for a record-extending 66th test start together. It’s a milestone match for the latter, as Whitelock makes his 148th appearance in the black jersey, drawing him level with former captain Richie McCaw as New Zealand’s record cap holder. Speaking of captains, Ardie Savea will again lead the All Blacks in Toulouse, as Sam Cane continues his recovery from the injury that ruled him out of the game against France.
New Zealand starting XV: Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Damian McKenzie, Cam Roigard; Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea.
New Zealand replacements: Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane.
Now Namibia’s captain and one of the most experienced players in the Welwitshcias’ squad, Johan Deysel barged his way over to score his side’s only try at London’s Olympic Stadium against the All Blacks, who of course went on to win their second successive tournament. He’ll line up at outside centre for Namibia, looking to provide ammunition for wideman Gerswin Mouton, who scored the only try in their opener against Italy.
In the pack, Namibia’s dynamic back-row will look to frustrate New Zealand at the breakdown whenever possible. Wian Conradie starts at blindside after a knock in the Italy match, former Wallaby Richard Hardwick brings Tier 1 international experience at the base of the scrum, and openside Prince Gaoseb was one of the Welwitschias’ standouts in their 71-9 loss four years ago.
Namibia starting XV: Clive Loubser, Gerswin Mouton, Johan Deysel, Le Roux Malan, Divan Roussouw, Tiaan Swanepoel, Damian Stevens; Jason Benade, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Aranos Coetzee, Johan Retief, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Prince Gaoseb, Richard Hardwick.
Namibia replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Des Sethie, Haitembu Shifuka, PJ van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Max Katjijeko, Jacques Theron, JC Greyling.
New Zealand vs. Namibia TV channel, live stream
TV networks worldwide will be showing all 48 matches at the tournament live, including many on free-to-air television.
On social platforms alone, video content from the Rugby World Cup and organisers World Rugby drew more than 2.1 billion views in 2019 – almost six times the previous figure.
The tournament also has its own app, delivering highlights, news and more across the seven weeks of action in France.
New Zealand vs Namibia betting odds, prediction
After the last two World Cups yielded 58-14 and 71-9 wins in 2015 and 2019 respectively, it’s hard to look past anything other than a dominant All Blacks victory here.
Crossing the whitewash as Deysel did in 2015 would likely be considered a success for Namibia, as would keeping the scoreline respectable and limiting New Zealand to less than 50 points.
The Welwitschias’ search for a maiden World Cup victory almost certainly won’t come in this game, but a strong performance from Allister Coetzee’s men could help prepare them to break that decades-long duck against Uruguay later this month.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More