Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: New Zealand 71-3 Namibia

The players of New Zealand form a huddle prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match against Namibia at Stadium de Toulouse
The players of New Zealand form a huddle prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match against Namibia at Stadium de Toulouse
©Photo by Pauline Ballet - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

New Zealand 71-3 Namibia, Pool A, Stadium de Toulouse

New Zealand bounced back from their defeat against France with an 11-try performance as they thrashed Namibia 71-3 in their Pool A clash in Toulouse on Friday.

With Cameron Roigard and Damian McKenzie scoring twice in the first half, the All Blacks had a 38-3 lead at the end of the opening half and from there on they kept building their winning margin to make a statement but will be concern about the red card to Ethan de Groot in the closing stage of the game.

New Zealand got their first try inside two minutes as Leicester Fainga’anuku collected a perfect crossfield kick from Beauden Barrett and offloaded it to Cam Roigard, who went over. McKenzie kicked the conversion to give New Zealand an early 7-0 lead in the game.

Roigard looked in great touch as he completed his second try five minutes later this time collecting the ball at the back of a scrum to touchdown but McKenzie missed the conversion this time from a wide angle before Tiaan Swanepoel kicked Namibia's only points in the game with a 40m penalty shootout to make it 12-3.

Namibia suffered a setback as Le Roux Malan left the field injured in the 18th minute and New Zealand piled on their agony with McKenzie and Leicester Fainga'anuku going over in a span of five minutes to make it 24-3 in the first half-hour of the game.

Ian Foster's men ensured there was no stopping them as they had a strong finish to the first half with Anton Lienert-Brown collecting a bounce pass from McKenzie to dot down in the 35th minute and three minutes later the fly-half completed his second in the 38th minute after a clever offload from Roigard as they headed into the break with a dominating 38-3 lead.

Ethan De Groot ensured there was no respite for Namibia as he made an impact 30 seconds coming off the bench as he sped past a couple of defenders to score and soon the 50-mark was breached with Barrett and Fainga’anuku combining to send Dalton Papali'i over the line making it 50-3.

David Havili also got his name in the scoring sheet after collecting an offload from Roigard and shortly Richie Mo’unga breached the defence of Namibia with eventually Caleb Clarke going over the line. McKenzie converted both the tries to extend New Zealand's lead to 66-3.

The only setback in the game for New Zealand was in the 73rd minute when de Groot was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Adriaan Booysen with his shoulder coming in contact with the head of Namibia's replacement. He was sent off shortly with the Bunker review system upgrading it to a red card.

However, despite a player short, New Zealand went on to score their 11th and final try of the game with Fainga’anuku setting up Reiko Ioane over as they completed a convincing 68-point victory.

Points Table: Pool A

Points Table:

World Rugby Top 10 Rankings:


Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 France 2 2 0 8
2 New Zealand 2 1 1 5
3 Italy 1 1 0 5
4 Uruguay 1 0 1 0
5 Namibia 2 0 2 0

What's Next:

New Zealand's next game will be against Italy on Friday in Lyon while Namibia will be lining up against hosts France in Marseille on Thursday.


All Blacks captain Ardie Savea was pleased with the result but insists they could improve further.

"It's a good feeling getting the win today, especially after last week's result," he said. "There's still a few areas where Namibia put us under pressure but we'll take that.

"Our discipline and our defence, we gave a few penalties away and they got opportunities to drive. We want to eliminate those and be ruthless in those areas

"Obviously there was shoulder on shoulder involved in that contact but clearly they saw it was a red card," he added. "We'll compare it to something else that happened yesterday and see what comes out of that."

Namibia counterpart Alister Coetzee admitted that they had a tough outing against a strong All Blacks side.

“We were up against a classy All Blacks side and with the pace they play at, it was quite tough for our boys," he said. "But against a world-class team like that, we can take a lot of pride from this."

Team line up:

New Zealand Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke, Anton Lienert-Brown, David Havili, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Damian McKenzie, Cam Roigard; Ofa Tuungafasi, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Samuel Whitelock, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea (c).

Reserves: Dane Coles, Ethan de Groot, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett, Tupou Vaa’i, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Rieko Ioane.

Namibia Cliven Loubser, Gerswin Mouton, Johan Deysel (c), Le Roux Malan, Divan Rossouw, Tiaan Swanepoel, Damian Stevens; Jason Benade, Torsten Van Jaarsveld, Johan Coetzee, Johan Retief, Tjiuee Uanivi, Wian Conradie, Prince Gaoseb, Richard Hardwick.

Reserves: Louis van der Westhuizen, Desiderius Sethie, Haitembu Shifuka, PJ Van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Max Katjijeko, Jacques Theron, JC Greyling.