New Zealand show no mercy in annihilation of Canada

Rugby World Cup 2019

Pool B

New Zealand 63-0 Canada

Jordie, Beauden and Scott Barrett made rugby history as they became the first trio of brothers ever to score a try in the same World Cup match. It proved to be the headline family act in New Zealand’s superb 63-0 destruction of Canada on a hothouse of a Monday night under the Oita Stadium roof.

The world champions, resuming their quest for a third straight title after an 11-day break from action, the longest of any team in the tournament, mixed familiar spells of brilliance with some ball-handling mistakes in the humid conditions in the first half of this Pool B clash. But, inspired by their superb play-making double act of Beauden Barrett and Player of the Match Richie Mo’unga, they were quite irresistible after the break as they ran the poor Canucks ragged with some scintillating attacking quality.

New Zealand carried the ball for a very impressive 906 metres, more than any other team at RWC 2019 to date. 

Beauden Barrett was magnificent in both defence and attack as he led his younger siblings to a wonderful piece of World Cup history. The youngest brother, Jordie, scored within 10 minutes, Beauden scored just before half-time and though Scott looked to have ruined the family script when he dropped the ball just as he was about to ground it in the first half, he made amends by ploughing over soon after the break.

Sonny Bill Williams scores New Zealand’s third try.

Though the humid conditions made ball-handling difficult, the All Blacks, for the most part, made it all look preposterously easy. They steamrollered the courageous but outclassed Canucks with the tries from the Barrett boys, a double for the excellent second-half replacement scrum-half Brad Weber, and others for Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane and Shannon Frizell.

A crowd of 34,411 in the 40,000-seat arena, most of whom were dressed in black to hail their heroes, had been waiting in rain outside the stadium dome for several hours before kick-off to get a glimpse of the champions. They were rewarded with some sublime fare.

The pattern was set swiftly when, after an age was taken to set the scrum, the All Blacks pack ploughed through with their first drive. Even though Read seemed to make a hash of the pick-up at the base, referee Romain Poite awarded a penalty try with just five minutes gone.

Jordie Barrett was soon quickly freed on the right wing by Mo’unga’s superb cross-field kick to trot in for the simplest try before Williams, looking back to something near his best, smashed through a challenge in midfield to land his sixth World Cup score. 

At 21-0 after 17 minutes, it looked hopeless for the Canucks but an interception led to fly-half Peter Nelson haring off on a weaving run until he was brought down agonisingly close to the line by a last-ditch Beauden Barrett tackle. Not a soul in the stadium would have begrudged Canada a try.

Scott Barrett makes no mistake to add to the earlier scores by his brothers Beauden and Jordie for New Zealand against Canada.

Plenty of sloppiness followed, with the ball, described the previous day by Canadian captain Tyler Ardron as being like a bar of soap in the humid conditions, being spilled liberally by both teams.

Scott Barrett could hardly believe it when he spilled the ball in the act of piling over just after the half-hour but big brother Beauden then snaffled the fourth, bonus-point try, latching on to Williams’s delicate grubber.

At 28-0 down at the break, Canada may have reflected that it could have been an awful lot worse. It soon was. Weber, a very effective half-time replacement for an under-par TJ Perenara, was instrumental in their blistering start after the interval when New Zealand scored four in the space of 11 minutes, including the historic one for Scott Barrett.

Ioane, perhaps the world’s best winger for two straight years until a barren spell this season saw him sidelined, took the chance to remind everyone of his quality with a try after the break within 43 seconds. Frizell, who only joined the team late after an injury to Luke Jacobson, capped an outstanding display with a try. Weber, on his World Cup debut, made a strong case for becoming the All Blacks’ number two scrum-half behind Aaron Smith with his two long-distance strikes.

For the brave Canucks, already defeated 48-7 by Italy, it was a case of holding on for grim life but at least they were spared the dazzling Beauden Barrett hitting them with a 10th try when he spilled the ball with the try line at his mercy.

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