New Zealand vs Uruguay – Report – Rugby World Cup 2023 – 6 Oct, 2023

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New Zealand Another magical display of attacking rugby eased into the World Cup quarter-finals early on Uruguay 73-0 in their last Pool A match on Thursday.

After losing their tournament opener FranceRan in 11 tries against New Zealand namibia14 against Italy and added 11 more against Uruguay at the OL Stadium.

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Damian McKenzie scored two tries and added two more in an outstanding display, while winger Will Jordan grabbed his 26th and 27th five-pointers in his 28th Test with equally good performances.

Another New Zealand winger, Lester Faingaanuku, added a hat-trick in the second half as Uruguay piled on the pressure.

The bonus-point victory sent the three-time World Cup winners to the top of Pool A, two points ahead of France in their last opening round match against tournament hosts Italy at the same stadium on Friday.

Really proud, New Zealand coach Ian Foster said. “We held our mentality very well and were quite clinical. It was a little different last week in that we had to grind our way through that contact area.”

Uruguay, eliminated before Thursday’s match after one win and two losses, said they would take the fight to the All Blacks and they were as good as their word, especially in the first 20 minutes.

New Zealand scored two tries in the first quarter but the contest was anything but uneven as 17th-ranked Uruguay gave them as good as they got.

Flanker Manuel Ardao almost put Uruguay ahead, only to be forced into a last-minute touch down by Anton Leinert-Brown, after winger Gaston Meares blazed Faingaanuku wide in spectacular fashion.

McKenzie headed over to get the All Blacks on the board in the 20th minute after a five-metre scrum.

Flyhalf Richie Mounga grabbed the second in similar fashion five minutes later and Jordan crossed after a sensational Mackenzie flick infield from the touchline just after the half-hour mark.

Scrumhalf Cam Roigaard, making his second Test start, grabbed the crucial fourth try to secure the bonus point from another five-metre scrum to give the All Blacks a 26-0 halftime lead.

New Zealand played much more direct rugby after the interval and Fletcher Newell, an early injury replacement for Tyrell Lomax, burst through a tackler for the fifth try.

A looping miss-pass from Jordan sent Faingaanuku unmarked for the sixth goal and McKenzie added the seventh before Uruguay stopped a deluge of tries on 12 minutes.

Jordan and Faingaanuku got their second scores, but substitute Tamaiti Williams went over for his first Test try.

Fainga’Anuku put a gloss on the scoreline two minutes from time and, although they had the final attack of the game, Uruguay went goalless for the first time in a World Cup match.

“I’m very proud of the players and staff. New Zealand are the best team in the world and we played well in the first 20 minutes,” said coach Esteban Meneses.

“I love the passion of the players. It’s unbelievable. They play with their heart. They are very good players and very good people. I love them.”

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