Rugby World Cup 2023 Daily: Magical Damian McKenzie lights up against Uruguay



These daily files will give you the latest reports surrounding the World Cup as well as betting lines, what to watch for information and best reads. Check in with ESPN throughout the tournament as we bring you the latest from France.

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The Lead: Magical Mackenzie Light Up Vs. Uruguay

Damian McKenzie made sure All Blacks coach Ian Foster had plenty to think about as the side head into the quarter-finals as he lit up the stage against Uruguay, scoring two tries and making as many assists as he had his hand up for the start. place in the knockout stages.

Having produced a superb display off the bench against Italy last week, McKenzie continued his form against the South Americans to score the opening try of the match before the crowd were on their feet after he collected a bouncing ball with one hand and flicked it inside for Will. Jordan’s first two tries.

McKenzie could have had a third to his name had the TMO not spotted Richie Mounga’s neck grab after missing the line early in the match, but he finally managed to hit the door on 20 minutes. .

The fullback’s every touch was gold, as he showed his class and was part of everything the All Blacks produced before Mainga left the field as he easily slotted in at fly-half before making his mark again.

No doubt this will give Foster a headache with Beauden Barrett and McKenzie both vying for the starting fullback jersey as the team reach the pointy end of the tournament. Likewise the All Blacks will start the clash with patches where they have failed to fire with mistakes hampering their play.

Uruguay must be congratulated for their efforts to disrupt the All Blacks’ flow in the first quarter as they pulled off the impossible task of stopping New Zealand en route to the quarter-finals. They crash into tackles without fear and look smart on the ball. Mauel Ardao was inches away from scoring the opener for Los Teros but was forced to touch down narrowly.

But it was typical errors from the All Blacks that saw them made to work for the match-opening try. Cam Roygaard’s early knock-on denied the first score, while Munger’s neck grab denied the other as mistakes riddled their game. Everything started to click from the 20th minute and with 11 tries in the bag and a quarter-final place booked, it’s unlikely that Ireland, South Africa or Scotland will be keen to face them next week.

“It was a really enjoyable game, quite free-flowing. It took us a long time to be honest with Uruguay, they defended so well,” said man of the match McKenzie.

“But we managed to put some points on the board so I’m very proud of the boys. We’ve got where we want to be, now we just want to get better and get to the quarters. I’m really excited for next week.”

around the cup

Robertson has been ‘banned’ from the All Blacks game

The All Blacks may have hit form since their opening defeat to France, but plenty has been going on in the background – not least of which is the complaint that incoming coach Scott Robertson has been barred from taking part in the team’s pool games so far.

According to All Blacks great Justin Marshall, Robertson has been asked to sit out the All Blacks game at the World Cup, but will be able to participate in any other matches in France.

Robertson was named as Robertson’s successor earlier this year, forcing New Zealand Rugby as other international unions began talking up the seven-time Super Rugby champion coach. Foster was also invited to reapply, but neglected to do so, meaning his four-year term will expire whenever the All Blacks’ campaign in France ends.

“Can I tell you something really interesting,” Marshall said.

“Scott Robertson is here in France. You’ll see him. He’s floating around.

“He’s not allowed to be in All Blacks games. They think he’s too distracting to the current players.

“Suddenly they might want to chat to him or influence him, so Ian Foster told him…he’s not allowed in the All Blacks game.”

Although Robertson will not be able to catch the All Blacks’ games pitchside in France, he is keeping a close eye on the players who will lead his rebuild in 2024. With Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Aaron Smith, Richie Moe, Unga, Ardie Savea and Beauden Barrett moving offshore, players such as Cam Roygaard, Scott Barrett, Damian McKenzie and Will Jordan will form the nucleus of Robertson’s squad when he takes over next year. ready

The Ford-Farrell partnership reunited for the start no. 41

George Ford and Wayne Farrell have known each other since they were kids playing rugby league in Wigan and spent endless hours discussing rugby union, but they say their partnership for England is more about instinct than planning.

Farrell returns to flyhalf to face Samoa on Saturday and Farrell moves to inside center in a pairing that has long been touted by former coach Eddie Jones but which has not materialized since the 2021 Six Nations.

Their first test was against Samoa in 2014 and they lined up 10 and 12 40 times. However, over the past two years, Ford’s absence through injury, Jones losing faith in him and the arrival of Marcus Smith have meant that the partnership that was so effective at the 2019 World Cup has mothballed.

“It’s exciting, we’ve obviously done it many times before and had some real success with it in the past,” Ford told reporters Thursday.

“Wayne is another voice when we want to move the ball, distribute the ball, which hopefully leads to some scoring opportunities for us at the weekend.”

Asked how much they plan how and when to switch roles during games, Ford said it’s a “feel and awareness thing” that shouldn’t be too structured or structured.

“You just want to be flexible and it’s a matter of playing together a lot of times. Sometimes it’s not even contact, it can just be a bit of eye contact,” he said.

“When Wayne finds himself at first receiver it’s a trigger to go a little further and vice versa.”

Farrell takes a similar view.

“We talk about everything rugby-wise, regardless of the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we both hope we start like the last time we played together.”

“It’s interchangeable. We can do both jobs. It’s not so much a premeditated thing, it just kind of happens.”

– Reuters

Sopoaga sent substitute kicking from England

Samoa flyhalf Lima Sopoaga has not regained the kicking tee she lost in Bordeaux last month but will face England on Saturday with some confidence after being sent a “lookalike” used tee by the England coach.

Sopoaga has owned the original tee since he was 14 but left it on the pitch in the chaos after the win over Chile and, despite appeals on social media, it has not been returned.

“I was sent a similar one from a kicking coach in England, named Alex Davies,” Sopoaga said on Thursday.

“He sent me an old one so it’s the same feel. I taped it and pretended it was the same one so hopefully I’m not screwing them up over the weekend. If I am, I’m going to blame the equipment.”

The 32-year-old former All Black said the original TT traveled the world with him and was “an extension of me”.

“The first thing I pack is before I pack my boots. I’d rather forget my boots than my kicking tee,” Sopoaga said.

– Reuters

The Italy All Blacks use a soul-purifying fire ceremony to move on from disaster

Coach Kieran Crowley says Italy will focus on process without a result in their final pool game against France as they look to revive their World Cup campaign after last week’s devastating loss to the All Blacks.

The Azzurri can still qualify for the quarter-finals from Pool A with a win against the tournament hosts at the OL Stadium on Saturday. [AEST] And Crowley said he was confident they had “moved on” since the 96-17 loss to New Zealand.

“One bad performance doesn’t define you so we put it behind us very quickly,” he told reporters after naming his team.

“We’re looking forward to an opportunity this week to at least put in a performance that puts a bit more respect and credibility in (the team).”

Stephen Varney said the players had a ritual this week where they each wrote down their thoughts about the New Zealand defeat on a piece of paper and threw it into a firepit.

“I think it was a good way to forget about it and move on,” Wales-born Schrumhoff said.

Crowley attributed the loss to players being coached to focus more on the results of their efforts rather than the individual steps they needed to take to be competitive.

“Reflecting on last week, it was probably bad coaching on my part, I think we lost the process,” he added.

“We looked more at the result rather than the process, so it was disappointing from my point of view and this week we went back to the process.”

– Reuters

Match preview

France vs Italy

tab( France $1.01, -27.5 $1.90, Italy $15, +27.5 $1.90

Places in the quarter-finals will be decided when France and Italy meet in Lyon on Friday night. The Azzurri return to the same venue where they were beaten 96-17 by the All Blacks last week, on a night when they caught the three-time world champions at their peak and could do little to stop the onslaught. This game is expected to be very close, however, as both sides have a lot of knowledge of how the other plays due to their many Six Nations battles. France have certainly dominated those clashes in recent times, but they have been made to win on almost every occasion. Les Bleus will also be fresh after sitting out last week’s game, with coach Fabien Galthy bringing back the star. 8 Gregory Aldritt, while Maxime Luku replaces the injured Antoine Dupont. 9. There are several different scenarios in which both teams can progress, but the simplest is a win for France to top the pool. And that’s the likely outcome here.

news of the day

A pair of Wallabies return home with injuries

While the rest of their teammates returned to training on Thursday, Wallabies youngsters Nick Frost and Carter Gordon officially had their campaigns over through injury.

Australia regrouped in Saint-Etienne on Wednesday evening after being granted a few days off following their 34-14 win. That was always the plan, but now they face the reality of training at the weekend knowing they can do nothing but prepare for an unlikely quarter-final.

For the Wallabies to continue in France, Portugal must pull off an all-time Rugby World Cup upset against Fiji, denying them a bonus point in the process.

Whatever the outcome of the final pool stage clash, Gordon and Frost will no longer be part of any Wallabies preparations. Gordon injured knee cartilage in training last week and was a late scratcher in the win over Portugal, while Frost picked up a knee joint in the win.

“We’re disappointed for Nick and Carter that their season has ended with injury,” Wallabies coach Eddie Jones said.

“Nick showed great courage to play through significant discomfort against Portugal, while Carter gained valuable experience in his first year as a Test player.

“We wish them both a speedy and successful recovery and look forward to seeing them continue to improve during Super Rugby Pacific next year.”



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