Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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ABs advance to World Cup quarters

New Zealand registered a bonus-point victory thrashing Uruguay 73-0 to advance into the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in France today.

It took the All Blacks close to 20 minutes to break the deadlock through full-back Damian McKenzie as he stepped inside a tackler to score and touch the scoreboard first while fly-half Mo’unga converted.

Two minutes later, Mo’unga ran in a second converted try, coming from five-meter scrums as the All Blacks machine started to purr.

McKenzie was on fire and collected his own grubber before flicking the ball inside to Will Jordan for the winger to scamper over under the posts.

The All Blacks were deadly from close range and from another five-metre scrum Cam Roigard dummied and stepped his way over the line to bring up the bonus point.

Mo’unga converted all three to give New Zealand a 26-0 lead at the break.

The second half quickly turned into an unstoppable rout as New Zealand continued to slaughter Uruguay throughout the remaining 40 minutes.

Replacement prop Fletcher Newell broke a tackle to go over from close range and then wing Leicester Fainga’anuku took a huge miss-pass from Jordan to streak in down the flank.

Sustained pressure on the Uruguay line then saw McKenzie exploit a gap to dart over for his second while from another five-meter scrum, slick handling sent Jordan in for his second in the corner.

It was past the hour mark and Uruguay was tiring as New Zealand attacked from deep to send Fainga’anuku in for his second.

Uruguay wilted and replacement prop Tamaiti Williams added his name to the try-scorers before Fainga’anuku completed his hat-trick.

On a night of celebration, veteran lock Sam Whitelock set a new record of 23 World Cup appearances, surpassing the marks of compatriot Richie McCaw and England’s Jason Leonard.

New Zealand must now wait and see if they win Pool A or finish second, depending on whether Italy can topple France on Friday night.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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