New Zealand bounced back from their opening Rugby World Cup disappointment as they cruised to a 71-3 win over Namibia. The All Blacks were beaten a week ago in their blockbuster clash against hosts France, their first ever defeat in a pool match at the World Cup.
There was never any danger of that tally being doubled in Toulouse, the bonus point secured inside 25 minutes. Damian McKenzie and Cam Roigard both went over twice in the first-half, with Leicester Faingaanuku and Anton Lienert-Brown also scoring tries before the break. Namibia kept the All Blacks at bay for the opening ten minutes of the second-half, but a familiar pattern was soon restored. Ethan de Groot bundled over out wide seconds after coming on, before Dalton Papali’i, David Havili and Caleb Clarke added further gloss to the scoreboard.
What had been a serene stroll was tarnished slightly late on, when De Groot was shown a yellow card for a high tackle. After a bunker referral, that decision was upgraded to a red. That did little to slow New Zealand down though, as a Faingaanuku offload set Rieko Ioane away for an 11th and final All Blacks try, their World Cup campaign firmly back on track.
New Zealand vs Namibia latest news
FT: New Zealand 71-3 Namibia
RED CARD! De Groot decision upgraded after review
TRY! Clarke goes over for tenth All Blacks score
HT: New Zealand 38-3 Namibia
TRY! Faingaanuku seals bonus point in first half
TRY! Roigard gives All Blacks perfect start
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22:12 , Matt Verri
New Zealand bounced back from their opening Rugby World Cup disappointment as they cruised to a 71-3 win over Namibia.
The All Blacks were beaten a week ago in their blockbuster clash against hosts France, their first ever defeat in a pool match at the World Cup.
There was never any danger of that tally being doubled in Toulouse, the bonus point secured inside 25 minutes.
Star of the show!
22:04 , Matt Verri
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 15, 2023
That De Groot red...
22:00 , Matt Verri
— ITV Rugby (@ITVRugby) September 15, 2023
FT: New Zealand 71-3 Namibia
21:54 , Matt Verri
And that’s full-time, the All Blacks winning it back on their tryline but opting to boot the ball out of play.
It’s 11 tries in the end, in what is a 50th World Cup win for New Zealand. That red card to De Groot the only sour note.
21:53 , Matt Verri
After a bunker referral, De Groot’s yellow has been upgraded to a red. Can’t really have many complaints about that.
TRY! New Zealand 71-3 Namibia | Ioane 77'
21:51 , Matt Verri
Too quick, too strong, too good.
Faingaanuku with the offload and Ioane powers into the space, breaking through the tackle and diving over.
21:48 , Matt Verri
75 mins: Dropped!
Namibia’s chance goes and the All Blacks can bring it forward, kicked up the pitch and the underdogs are back in their 22.
21:46 , Matt Verri
74 mins: Namibia sensing their moment for a famous try, but they’re stopped just short. Will have a 5m scrum as consolation.
Can they make the most of the man advantage here?
21:44 , Matt Verri
De Groot could be in trouble here, high contact in the tackle. Looked to be shoulder on head.
It’s a yellow card for now, but that could well be upgraded.
21:41 , Matt Verri
71 mins: Namibia wisely get the ball out of the scrum as quickly as possible, that was not about to end well for them.
Swanepoel with the grubber kick, McKenzie can touch it down though and New Zealand have the drop-out.
21:39 , Matt Verri
McKenzie with a great kick from out wide, New Zealand lead 64-3.
Still just over ten minutes to go...
TRY! New Zealand 62-3 Namibia | Clarke 67'
21:38 , Matt Verri
Clarke gets in on the action!
Mo’unga with a lovely kick in behind, Clarke claims it nicely and topples over out wide. Try number ten for the All Blacks.
21:36 , Matt Verri
66 mins: All getting a bit scrappy. New Zealand knock it on, before Namibia make a mess of things themselves as they tap and go.
This crowd now very much against the All Blacks, doing whatever they can to inspire a late charge from Namibia.
21:34 , Matt Verri
64 mins: Lineout secured, that’s one part done.
The backs have charged over to join the maul. Basically the entire team are over in that corner.
That’s a big problem as the ball is knocked forward, New Zealand can break forward themselves. Booted into the space, bounces out of play with Lienert-Brown lurking.
21:32 , Matt Verri
63 mins: Massive ovation as Namibia trudge forward, the crowd are desperate for them to get a try.
They have another penalty, 5m out. Kicked to touch, they want to set up the maul again.
21:31 , Matt Verri
61 mins: Barrett is brought off, no try for him tonight. Mo’unga on to replace him, McKenzie moving to 15.
It’s Scott Barrett who is penalised by the referee, coming in at the side. Namibia can kick for touch and get themselves into the All Blacks 22.
TRY! New Zealand 57-3 Namibia | Havili 58’
21:28 , Matt Verri
This could be any score.
So simple. Lineout sets it up, maul wins the penalty advantage.
Loads of space, Havili will not be stopped from close range and he’s the latest All Blacks player under the posts. McKenzie with a simple conversion.
21:27 , Matt Verri
57 mins: Namibia finally claim a lineout! Platform for them to do something?
No. Retief off his feet, and the All Blacks are swiftly back in the Namibia 22. Trouble...
TRY! New Zealand 50-3 Namibia | Papalii 55'
21:24 , Matt Verri
All Blacks scrum is dominant again, penalty advantage.
They might not need it, Barrett skipping away from the tackle out wide. New Zealand into the 22, moving the ball so quickly.
And there’s another try! Papalii with a great line and he finds the space to stroll over under the posts.
21:21 , Matt Verri
51 mins: Just feels a queston of how ruthless New Zealand want to be in the final half an hour. Signs at the moment suggest very.
Clarke makes the running out wide again, kick nearly finds McKenzie but just too much on it. All Blacks then off their feet at the breakdown, too keen to win it back.
TRY! New Zealand 43-3 Namibia | De Groot 49'
21:19 , Matt Verri
He was on the pitch for a matter of seconds!
The replacement bundles his way over out wide, all came from a strong New Zealand maul. De Groot out on the right, Rossouw has no hope of stopping him.
Conversion from McKenzie is missed.
21:16 , Matt Verri
47 mins: Space opens up for the All Blacks, they have the numbers out on the right. That is until Tu’ungafasi flings it about three metres forward and straight out of play. Not the best.
New Zealand have it back though, Namibia lineout once again misfires.
Out wide to Clarke, brilliantly gathered but he loses his balance as he tries to stay in play! Goes down a couple of metres before the line and he’s dragged out of play.
21:13 , Matt Verri
44 mins: Namibia go short, knocked on and the All Blacks have a scrum. What a waste that is.
Been a positive start to the half for Namibia though, had possession for pretty much the entire four minutes.
21:12 , Matt Verri
43 mins: And another penalty, Tu’ungafasi not rolling away.
Swanepoel turns down the easy three points, he’s kicking to the corner. That was the plan anyway... he’s managed to kick it backwards. Still inside the 22, not a great kick at all though.
21:10 , Matt Verri
42 mins: Rain has stopped, wind no longer a real factor either. Much nicer conditions.
Namibia win an early penalty and it’s a good kick to touch, deep into the New Zealand 22. Need to make the most of these opportunities...
21:09 , Matt Verri
Up and running for the second half in Toulouse!
Easy as you like...
21:01 , Matt Verri
Two tries each for Roigard and McKenzie, with Faingaanuku and Lienert-Brown also going over in that opening 40 minutes.
A Swanepoel penalty the only time Namibia were able to trouble the scoreboard - they haven’t really looked like scoring a try either.
McKenzie has been so impressive, even aside from those tries. A couple of superb crossfield kicks, he’s been running the show really nicely.
20:57 , Matt Verri
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HT: New Zealand 38-3 Namibia
20:55 , Matt Verri
And that’s half-time.
Six tries for the All Blacks, who have been ruthless when their chances have come. Loads of space out there for them, particularly out wide, and they are enjoying themselves.
Namibia haven’t been able to live with them. At all.
TRY! New Zealand 38-3 Namibia | McKenzie 39’
20:53 , Matt Verri
Might be the pick of the bunch!
A second for McKenzie and it’s absolutely sensational from New Zealand. Roigard’s dummy opens up the space, lovely pass to McKenzie and he charges away to dive over.
Converts his own try, All Blacks motoring now.
20:50 , Matt Verri
McKenzie this time does add the extras, New Zealand lead 31-6.
Just under four minutes to go until half-time.
TRY! New Zealand 29-3 Namibia | Lienert-Brown 35'
20:49 , Matt Verri
Brilliant from the centre!
Flung out wide to him. One kick takes him into space, another boots the ball over the tryline and he is quicker than anyone in a white shirt as he gets there comfortably to touch it down.
20:47 , Matt Verri
33 mins: Good line speed from Namibia and they force the error. Swanepoel with a decent kick, Namibia lineout just outside the 22.
Again they make a mess of the set-piece though and the All Blacks are away once more.
Barrett there as ever, flicks a kick inside but Roigard can’t quite get there. Launches himself at the ball, just runs out of room though.
20:44 , Matt Verri
30 mins: New Zealand scrum on the 5m line, as the kick from Swanepoel goes out on the full. Would be something of a surprise if the All Blacks don’t turn this into a try, perfect position.
Well - there’s the surprise! “Too much New Zealand,” says the referee. Free-kick Namibia.
20:42 , Matt Verri
29 mins: Not straight and Namibia knock it on anyway. Apart from that...
New Zealand opt for the scrum, McKenzie with a ridiculous kick out wide and Clarke is onto it.
McKenzie with the kick again, seeing the space in behind the Namibian defence. Three All Blacks players sprinting after it, none able to get there in time though.
20:40 , Matt Verri
27 mins: Absolutely filthy weather and it seems to be getting worse by the second.
Good restart from Namibia, force the All Blacks into touch and they have the lineout inside the 22.
TRY! New Zealand 24-3 Namibia | Faingaanuku 25'
20:39 , Matt Verri
Faingaanuku doesn’t have to wait long!
Lineout from the All Blacks, comes to Faingaanuku and he just bulldozes his way over the line. Had three white shirts trying to halt him but they can’t do it.
Very nearly dropped the ball - claimed it again just in time.
McKenzie unable to add the extras, smacks back off the post!
20:36 , Matt Verri
22 mins: There is just so much space out wide for the All Blacks, could run up any score they want tonight.
They get a bit too excited this time though, ball is forward as it’s flung out to Faingaanuku. He was away, but swiftly called back. Scrum Namibia.
Rain absolutely pouring down in Toulouse.
TRY! New Zealand 19-3 Namibia | McKenzie 20'
20:34 , Matt Verri
And it’s as you were - a third New Zealand try!
The All Blacks have a penalty on the 5m line, take it quickly and Namibia don’t react. McKenzie dances his way under the posts, leaving himself the simplest of conversions.
20:31 , Matt Verri
Huge ovation from the crowd and from all the players as the buggy drives off the pitch. As loud as the stadium has been all night.
Malan it is who picked up the injury, he raises an arm on his way off. Oxygen mask over his face. Greyling on in his place.
We’re ready to get up and running again.
20:29 , Matt Verri
All gone very quiet in Toulouse, crowd fully aware of how serious this injury looks to be. Referee’s reaction said it all, he couldn’t look.
He will be stretchered off as the buggy comes onto the pitch.
20:26 , Matt Verri
That is awful.
A Namibia player is down, looks to be a really bad leg injury. Referee blew his whistle and immediately looked away as he got close.
No replays obviously, so not entirely sure who it is that is down. We’ll have a fairly lengthy delay though.
20:23 , Matt Verri
TMO gets involved, Tu’ungafasi is penalised for obstruction at the maul.
Namibia penalty, New Zealand’s lead is back to 12-3.
TRY! New Zealand 17-3 Namibia | Taukei’aho 17'
20:22 , Matt Verri
There’s the third try!
Simple as you like. Lineout claimed, New Zealand maul marches towards the line and Taukei’aho can just topple over.
20:20 , Matt Verri
15 mins: Frightening amount of space for New Zealand out wide. Namibia cannot cope with them. Ball flung out to Clarke on the bounce, so much room but he is caught as he closes in on the tryline.
Ball goes loose, but All Blacks had the advantage. To the corner they go...
20:18 , Matt Verri
13 mins: Aside from those two tries, it has been a bit sloppy at times from the All Blacks. Couple of penalties conceded, now a knock-on from the restart.
When they do get quick ball though, it’s been devastating.
20:16 , Matt Verri
11 mins: Whitelock penalised, Namibia penalty and this time they will go for the points. Probably a wise decision, try and get themselves on the board.
Swanepoel does just that, drilled through the middle of the posts. Namibia are up and running, though they are 12-3 down.
TRY! New Zealand 12-0 Namibia | Roigard 7’
20:13 , Matt Verri
New Zealand do have their second try!
Massive drive at the scrum, Namibia have no answer. Turned over, comes to Roigard and he spins his way over the line.
McKenzie drags the conversion well wide, as the rain begins to fall. 12-0 inside 8 minutes.
20:11 , Matt Verri
7 mins: McKenzie got to the ball first, touched it down... before the line. A foot away from perfection.
That was brilliant from the All Blacks though, length of the pitch in about ten seconds. McKenzie won the race to the ball, but was a bit too keen.
Namibia scrum on the 5m line.
20:10 , Matt Verri
6 mins: Here we go, Namibia penalty and they’ve kicked for the corner.
Maul doesn’t make the progress they want though, All Blacks slow it down. And they turn the ball over - big trouble for Namibia!
Barrett leads the charge out wide, inside to McKenzie and he thinks he’s got it down for a try!
TMO will have a look.
20:08 , Matt Verri
4 mins: Namibia have barely touched the ball.
This is better though, they claim the lineout and drive into the New Zealand 22. Grubber kick attempted... doesn’t come off.
TRY! New Zealand 7-0 Namibia | Roigard 2’
20:06 , Matt Verri
Clarke nearly away out wide in the opening minute, All Blacks really sharp already. Getting good quick ball.
And they could be in already... they are in already!
Cam Roigard strolls over, that is a ruthless start from New Zealand. Barrett’s crossfield kick superb, and Faingaanuku pops it up for his scrum-half.
McKenzie converts. Ominous first couple of minutes.
20:03 , Matt Verri
Up and running in Toulouse!
19:59 , Matt Verri
Anthems done and they’re still persisting with the choirs. Less said about that the better.
Anyway, over to New Zealand and the haka!
Here we go!
19:55 , Matt Verri
Players are in the tunnel, mascots looking suitably terrified as the giants on both sides walk up to them.
Plenty of talk from Namibia that they want to be aggressive and ensure this is competitive - time to find out if they can do just that.
Just showing off...
19:48 , Matt Verri
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 15, 2023
Not long now!
19:45 , Matt Verri
The action in Toulouse will be up and running very, very shortly.
Just under 15 minutes to go now until we get up and running, and New Zealand look to put last week’s disappointment behind them.
Not always as easy as it appears on paper though, as France found out last night against Uruguay...
New versions of anthems recorded
19:36 , Matt Verri
The eyes of the world are trained on France, soaking up rugby’s biggest party, but the ears have been sadly underwhelmed.
The Rugby World Cup has started with a burst of compelling action on the pitch, but the tournament’s first weekend was blighted by some off-kilter sounds.
The pre-match anthems are always when the crowd — the 16th man, according to cliche — can boost their teams just before kick-off.
But when France hosted New Zealand last Friday night, the Stade de France was treated to an underwhelming rendition of usually stirring anthem La Marseillaise, with the use of 7,000 children’s voices widely criticised. God Defend New Zealand proved equally off-key, and so the anthems followed for the full first round of pool matches.
Choirs of French schoolchildren have recorded new versions of all the anthems, but the overly choral arrangements and the mixing with the backing tracks have struck a bum note. The feedback has been disastrous, and tournament bosses have finally relented by agreeing to record new versions of the anthems.
All Blacks confident of strong response
19:28 , Matt Verri
New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown has admitted his side have had to do some soul-searching to come to terms with their performance level against France, but insisted the All Blacks can always come good quickly.
“We just need to get ourselves to a quarter-final, and then you’re into knockout rugby,” said Lienert-Brown.
“Obviously losing to France makes it harder to finish top in the pool now, but we’ve got to focus on getting better in the next three games.
“And then we obviously want to be in a quarter-final. Anything can happen from there.”
Namibia eye more tries
19:14 , Matt Verri
Just the one try for Namibia across their two previous matches against New Zealand.
That came eight years ago and the London Stadium crowd certainly enjoyed it as Johan Deysel went over for the underdogs.
Can anyone in a Namibia shirt join that very exclusive club tonight?
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 13, 2023
Whitelock equals All Blacks record
19:06 , Matt Verri
Huge match for Sam Whitelock tonight, as he makes his 148th international appearance for New Zealand.
That draws him level with Richie McCaw’s record - decent company to keep!
“It’s a massive occasion for Sam and for us as a team,” head coach Ian Foster said.
“I think he has been a warrior for this team for a long time and to equal someone like Richie is a massive achievement.
“We all know how much it means for him to pull on a black jersey and to do it for the 148th time is a very special occasion, one that we make sure we put a performance on that gives that record a lot of respect and celebrate it with him afterwards.”
How it stands in Pool A!
18:59 , Matt Verri
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 14, 2023
Hat-trick of big wins?
18:51 , Matt Verri
This is the third World Cup in a row that Namibia have faced New Zealand in the pool stage - not sure it’s getting any more fun for them.
The All Blacks eased to a 58-14 win in London in 2015, and it was even more emphatic four years ago in Tokyo as Namibia were beaten 71-9.
Plenty of room for improvement, shall we say...
Coetzee wants Namibia to ‘throw more punches’
18:42 , Matt Verri
Allister Coetzee has a fair old task on his hands tonight, trying to find a way for his Namibia side to keep it competitive against the All Blacks.
They were not hugely impressive against Italy - Coetzee wants a more aggressive display here.
“The Italy game was a big challenge for us, especially in the set-piece. Hopefully it will be better,” the Namibian head coach said.
“We have to throw more punches. New Zealand is a top nation. Our plan is to stop the momentum and break their rhythm.”
— Jared Wright (@jaredwright17) September 15, 2023
Foster: We are expecting to be tested
18:32 , Matt Verri
New Zealand head coach Ian Foster has been talking up the significance of tonight’s game, insisting the All Blacks will not be complacent and are expecting a “very tough” encounter.
“A key game for us to get right and we’ve selected accordingly,” Foster said.
“We are expecting a very tough Namibian side to test us. While we were disappointed with the result in the first round, it hasn’t moved our focus from what we need to do to in our pool games.
“This game is vital for us to grow and we can’t wait to get to Toulouse and test ourselves.”
Second round of fixtures!
18:25 , Matt Verri
After last weekend’s drama, the second round of the pool stage got up and running last night as France beat Uruguay.
It was far from convincing from a much-changed Les Blues side, but they got the job done to strengthen their grip on top spot in Pool A.
The focus turns to New Zealand vs Namibia tonight, before six matches take place over the weekend. Those include Ireland vs Tonga tomorrow, and Australia vs Fiji and England vs Japan on Sunday.
Lots to look forward to!
More of the same tonight?
18:18 , Matt Verri
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 13, 2023
All Blacks need response!
18:09 , Matt Verri
It was a blockbuster start to the Rugby World Cup, but not the result New Zealand were looking for.
They flew out of the blocks against France, only for the hosts to respond and go on to seal what turned out to be a relatively comfortable win.
Top spot in Pool A already looks to now be beyond the All Blacks, but second will see them through to the quarter-finals.
Here’s how that opening match played out...
Standard Sport prediction
17:59 , Matt Verri
Namibia’s heavy defeat by Italy continued their unwanted run of losing every match they’ve ever played at the Rugby World Cup.
That is a sequence of 24 games, with the African nation having qualified for every tournament since 1999 after missing the first three editions.
They have met the All Blacks twice during that spell, being hammered 58-14 in London in 2015 and then 71-9 in Tokyo four years ago.
Expect a similarly seriously one-sided scoreline tonight as a wounded New Zealand look to get their campaign up and running with a flourish to state their own title ambitions.
New Zealand to win, by at least 50 points.
Namibia team news
17:52 , Matt Verri
It’s four changes for Namibia - and former Springboks - head coach Allister Coetzee, who brings in full-back Cliven Loubser, prop Jason Benade, flanker Prince Gaoseb and centre Le Roux Malan following the defeat by Italy.
Johan Retief moves to lock and Divan Rossouw to the wing, with Desiderius Sethie, Adriaan Ludick and JC Greyling all dropping to the bench.
Namibia XV: Loubser; Mouton, Deysel (c), Malan, Rossouw; Swanepoel, Stevens; Benade, Van Jaarsveld Coetzee; Retief, Uanivi; Conradie, Gaoseb, Hardwick
Replacements: Van der Westhuizen, Sethie, Shifuka, Van Lill, Booysen, Katjijeko, Theron, Greyling
New Zealand team news
17:46 , Matt Verri
The All Blacks suffered a key blow ahead of kick-off against France, with captain Sam Cane a shock late withdrawal through injury as Foster was forced into a back-row reshuffle that included an unexpected start for Tupou Vaa’i.
Cane misses out again this week, with centre Jordie Barrett, prop Tyrel Lomax and flanker Shannon Frizell also sidelined. Barrett is back in training after a knee problem, but won’t be risked.
New Zealand have called up Ethan Blackadder to their squad since the loss to France, with Foster wanting to bolster his loose forward options after wing Emoni Narawa suffered a pre-tournament back injury that will see him play no part in the World Cup.
David Havili, Ofa TuÊ»ungafasi and Brodie Retallick are among the players introduced to the starting lineup having been replacements last week as Foster makes nine changes for Namibia.
Ardie Savea captains the team again in Cane’s absence, with Sam Whitelock set to join the great Richie McCaw as the most capped All Black of all time with his 148th senior international appearance. Damian McKenzie, Cam Roigard and Caleb Clarke are all handed their World Cup debuts.
New Zealand XV: B Barrett; Clarke, Leinert-Brown, Havili, Fainga’anuku; McKenzie, Roigard; Tuungafasi, Taukei’aho, Laulala; Retallick, Whitelock; Jacobson, Papali’i, Savea
How to watch New Zealand vs Namibia
17:40 , Matt Verri
TV channel: In the UK, tonight’s game will be shown live and free to air on ITV4, with coverage starting at 7:15pm.
Live stream: Fans can also watch all the action live online via the ITVX website and app.
Live blog: Follow the game as it unfolds right here with us!
17:34 , Matt Verri
Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s LIVE coverage of New Zealand vs Namibia!
The All Blacks were beaten in the pool stage of a Rugby World Cup for the first time as they lost to France in the tournament opener, and they’ll be eyeing a swift returning to winning ways tonight.
Namibia have made a habit of losing, and losing heavily, on rugby’s biggest stage - would be a big shock if that changed here!
We’ll have all the latest updates and build-up ahead of kick-off, which comes at 8pm BST from Stadium de Toulouse. Stay with us.