Rugby World Cup 2019: New Zealand 71-9 Namibia

New Zealand made it three wins from as many games at the Rugby World Cup, needing a big second half to thrash Namibia.

New Zealand's Sevu Reece scores his sides sixth try.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The All Blacks produced a dominant second half to thrash Namibia 71-9 at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday.

After a sloppy start, New Zealand improved after the break in Chofu on its way to a third win in as many games in Pool B.

Anton Lienert-Brown, Sevu Reece and Ben Smith crossed for two tries apiece as the All Blacks went over 11 times.

The two-time defending champions – who had Nepo Laulala and Ofa Tu'ungafasi sin-binned during their win – scored seven tries in the second half, a much-needed response after their struggles in the opening 40 minutes.

Namibia made a bright start and Damian Stevens kicked them into a shock early lead.

The All Blacks responded immediately as Reece easily took a Jordie Barrett kick to the right wing before scoring.

New Zealand was sloppy during the first half, making numerous errors, but Lienert-Brown stretched its lead in the 20th minute when he powered to the line after a pass inside from Ardie Savea.

A couple of Stevens penalties followed for Namibia before Laulala was sent to the sin bin for a high shot on Lesley Klim.

But the All Blacks struck twice more before half-time through Angus Ta'avao and Smith, before Joe Moody powered over to make it 29-9 shortly after the break.

New Zealand was finally starting to find its rhythm and Lienert-Brown went over again on the right, Barrett throwing the final pass after his initial break.

 

Reece went over for his second try and the All Blacks' seventh before captain Sam Whitelock crashed over from close range with 25 minutes remaining.

A brilliant pass from Lienert-Brown helped set up Smith for the full-back to bag a double before New Zealand received another yellow card for a high tackle, this time to Tu'ungafasi.

 

Barrett scored a deserved try late on as he took his individual tally to 21 points before TJ Perenara capped off the victory with a superb finish in the corner after a behind-the-back pass from Brad Weber.

Retallick's return gives All Blacks another boost

Brodie Retallick made his first appearance since dislocating his shoulder in July to give the All Blacks another boost. The lock got through half an hour before being replaced, New Zealand surely managing his minutes as he regains fitness.

Devastating second half what New Zealand needed

The All Blacks were well below their best in the first half, their errors helping keep Namibia in the game. But they delivered after the break, improved handling, speed and their physicality seeing them score seven second-half tries to produce a performance closer to the one most were expecting.

Key Opta stats

- New Zealand has won both of its Tests against Namibia by a combined score of 129-23.
- The All Blacks posted the biggest Rugby World Cup score since they beat Canada 79-15 in 2011.
- This was the 12th time New Zealand has scored 70 or more points in a Rugby World Cup game. All other teams combined have only done so 13 times.
- Savea supplied two try assists, which is the joint most ever by an All Blacks forward at the Rugby World Cup. Ali Williams and Jerry Collins did the same against Portugal in 2007.
- Whitelock broke the record for most consecutive Rugby World Cup wins by a player with his 17th straight, eclipsing Sonny Bill Williams and Keven Mealamu (16).

What's next?

The All Blacks wrap up their pool stage against Italy on Saturday, while Namibia faces Canada a day later.