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New Zealand – Namibia: Roigard and McKenzie at the helm, Malan in tears


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New Zealand – Namibia: Roigard and McKenzie at the helm, Malan in tears


They could shake up the hierarchy in Ian Foster's mind. Authors of a remarkable performance narrowly against Namibia, Cameron Roigard and Damian McKenzie inevitably scored points for the rest of the competition. If the opponent was not of the same ilk as France, the hinge of the All-Blacks dazzled the Stadium of its class. In this score, it is obviously necessary to highlight the early double of the scrum half (2nd, 7th) and the flyhalf (19th, 38th) but to reduce their match to these tries would be an insult to them. Skillful in his kicking game, Damian McKenzie made the Namibian defense dizzy and his initiatives added to those of Cameron Roigard, constantly supporting his partners, to give rhythm to New Zealand's actions. A major performance which could earn the number 3 scrum half and number two flyhalf in the hierarchy to gain playing time for the rest of the competition.

A week after suffering the first defeat in their history in the group stage of a World Cup against France (27-13), the All-Blacks reacted in the best way by crushing Namibia (71-3 ) at the Toulouse Stadium. Against the Welwitschias, New Zealand did not take half measures by inflicting eleven tries on their opponents at the end of a serious and full match on their part. In addition to the hinge, Leicester Fainga'anuku (24th), Anton Lienert-Brown (34th) Ethan De Groot (48th), Abraham Papali'i (54th), David Havili (57th), Caleb Clark (67th) and Rieko Ioane (76th ) also went there with their test. A welcome rebound before facing Italy next Friday in a match which could seal second place in Pool A.

In the starting XV, there were six starters to be renewed after the defeat against the Blues. Back Beauden Barret, impeccable in coverage and recovery, center Anton Lienert-Brown, and winger Caleb Clark, authors of a try, made the three-quarter line shine while third-line Abraham Papali 'i, captain Ardie Savea, second-row Sam Whitelock and prop Nepo Laulala, participated in the undivided domination of the All-Blacks in the scrum and carried balls sector. Essential presences to take the usual replacements in their wake.


This is one of the strong images of the evening. In the 18th minute, Le Roux Malan remained on the ground writhing with pain in his ankle, after losing his support during a tackle. The match was stopped for several minutes by Luke Pearce before the Namibian center was taken out on a stretcher to ovations from the Toulouse Stadium and applause from the English referee. The 24-year-old still reassured his loved ones and teammates with a wave of his hand.

A week after being swept away by Italy (52-8), Namibia was once again outclassed by New Zealand (71-3). Unlike the Uruguayans, who were very eye-catching in the fight against the French (27-12), the Welwitschias showed themselves to be too permeable in defense against a reshuffled New Zealand XV which did not ask for so much and which punished them on almost their entire opportunity. Offensively, the Namibians also squandered each of their rare opportunities by dropping the ball on a carried ball or committing forwards. For its seventh participation in the World Cup, Namibia has still not won a single match in the competition and this 2023 edition could once again be a long one for it.

A great success, no injury on the horizon and yet, Ian Foster has reason to show regrets. The fault of the pillar Ethan de Groot, replacing at the kick-off, who distinguished himself in a very pale way by receiving a red card, after a bunker, after a tackle on the head of the third substitute row Adriaan Booysen. The All-Blacks forward could thus be suspended for several matches after going to the disciplinary committee.

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