Hamilton - New Zealand pummelled hapless Japan
83-7 Friday in an embarrassingly one-sided rout which brought back the
horrors of Rugby World Cups past for Asia's top team.
The makeshift All
Blacks, with Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Mils Muliania among those
missing injured, scored 13 tries at a rate of one every six minutes to
evoke memories of the Bloemfontein massacre of 1995, when they won
The performance, at a packed but unexcited Waikato
Stadium, was by far the heaviest defeat in a World Cup which has so far
been notable for the giant strides smaller teams have made to catch up
with the established nations.
New Zealand were on the board with
their first attack when Ma'a Nonu and Isaia Toeava set up Conrad Smith
for a score wide left, in an ominous start to a half which yielded six
tries by six different players in black.
Richard Kahui ran in the
second 12 minutes later, Jerome Kaino went over from a ruck and stand-in
captain Keven Mealamu swatted away a defender on the line before Andy
Ellis and Colin Slade scored within a minute of each other.
was striding through the Japan defenders at will, while the Brave
Blossoms wilted each time they had the ball and went into the break 38-0
down after spending less than five minutes in their opponents' half.
scoreboard was static for only five second-half minutes when Kahui got
his second before rugby league-cum-boxing star Sonny Bill Williams,
introduced for wing Cory Jane, strode over for his first All Blacks
Toeava went over before flyhalf Slade dished up the ball in a
tackle to Japan veteran Hirotoki Onozawa for an intercept try which
made him only the 15th player to score in three World Cups.
Nonu, Andrew Hore and Adam Thomson were also in on the action and
Williams got a second before referee Nigel Owens ended the torture for
Japan, who had impressed with a brave performance against France in
their first game.
New Zealand's biggest ever World Cup win was the
145-17 thumping of Japan in 1995, while the Brave Blossoms have now
conceded 50 points or more in nine World Cup games.
The All Blacks
now face a stiffer test against France next Saturday while Japan will
revert to their strongest line-up for their must-win game against Tonga
The game was preceded by a sombre minute's silence
for victims of earthquake disasters in Japan and New Zealand this year
which left more than 20 000 people dead.
15 Isaia Toeava, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Richard Kahui,
10 Colin Slade, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Adam Thomson, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5
Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu (captain), 1 Tony
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Ali Williams, 19 Anthony Boric,
20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Sonny Bill Williams.
15 Taihei Ueda, 14 Takehisa Usuzuki, 13 Koji Taira, 12 Yuta Imamura, 11
Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 Murray Williams, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Takashi Kikutani
(captain), 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Itaru Taniguchi, 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4 Hitoshi
Ono, 3 Nozomu Fujita, 2 Yusuke Aoki, 1 Naoki Kawamata
Substitutes: 16 Hiroki Yuhara, 17 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 18 Yuji Kitagawa, 19
Sione Vatuvei, 20 Tomoki Yoshida, 21 Shaun Webb, 22 Alisi Tupuailai
All Blacks scrumhalf Andrew Ellis scores a try during their 2011
Rugby World Cup pool A match against Japan at the Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.