Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool A: New Zealand 73-0 Uruguay

Damian McKenzie of New Zealand scores his team's first try whilst being tackled by Santiago Arata of Uruguay
Damian McKenzie of New Zealand scores his team's first try whilst being tackled by Santiago Arata of Uruguay
©Photo by Michael Steele - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

New Zealand 73-0 Uruguay, Pool A, OL Stadium

Leicester Fainga'anuku scored a hat-trick as New Zealand blanked out Uruguay 73-0 at OL Stadium on Thursday to reach the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup.

Damian McKenzie and Will Jordan touched down twice while Richie Mo'unga, Cam Roigard, Fletcher Newell and Tamati Williams also scored a try apiece. The result also meant New Zealand have moved to the top of Pool A with 15 points but will move down to second place if France avoid defeat against Italy on Friday.

New Zealand came close to scoring the opening try when Cameron Roigard crossed over but tackles from Lucas Bianchi and Mateo Sanguinetti averted what looked a certain try for the All Blacks. An early injury setback saw New Zealand's Tyrel Lomax leaving the field and was replaced by Fletcher Newell.

Uruguay exerted pressure back on New Zealand with Manuel Ardao coming close to the try line but he was tackled to touch by Anton Lienert-Brown as the scores remained at 0-0. The end of the opening quarter saw Mo'unga feeding McKenzie for the opening try. Mo'unga also followed with the conversion to take them into the lead.

The All Blacks stepped the ante as Jordie Barrett's well timed pass allowed Mo'unga to complete a converted try before McKenzie and Roigard followed the suit to ensure Foster's men completed the opening half with a 26-0 lead.

New Zealand started from where they left as Jordan, Fainga’anuku and Roigard combined to send Fletcher Newell over the line before Jordan's looping pass sent Fainga'anuku over the line for their sixth try to make it 38-0. Fainga’anuku and Jordan were instrumental once again as they set up McKenzie for the second try.

The 50-point mark was breached in the 66th minute as McKenzie created the opportunity for Jordan's second try and Lienert-Brown set up Fainga’anuku his second and ninth try for the All Blacks extending the lead to 59-0. Even though Uruguay showed resilience, the power of the All Blacks were too much to handle as further tries from Williams and Fainga'anuku sealed a 73 point victory and a passage to the quarter-final.

Match Reactions:

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster said of the All Blacks' performance: "Really proud of it. I thought Uruguay really honed in in that first 20, they showed a massive degree of spirit and managed to slow the game down. We expected that sort of game, we talked about how this was going to turn into a bit of a bun fight at the breakdown.

"We held our composure very well and were quite clinical. It was a little bit different from last week in that we had to grind our way through that contact area. It was hard to get quick ball but I'm pleased with the patience."

Uruguay captain Andrés Vilaseca said: "Today we were against the best team in the world and sometimes you just have to keep pushing and try your best. We can be very proud of ourselves.

"I think we had an amazing World Cup. Playing France, the host nation, Italy, Namibia - we won - and now New Zealand, playing the best team in the world. It's about learning and trying to give our best and trying to grow the sport in Uruguay. It has been amazing."

Team line up:

New Zealand Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku, Richie Mo’unga, Cam Roigard; Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax, Sam Whitelock, Tupou Vaa’i, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (c), Luke Jacobson.

Reserves: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Scott Barrett, Ethan Blackadder, Finlay Christie, Beauden Barrett, Caleb Clarke.

Uruguay Rodrigo Silva, Gastón Mieres, Tomas Inciarte, Andres Vilaseca (c), Nicolas Freitas, Felipe Etcheverry, Santiago Arata; Mateo Sanguinetti, German Kessler, Diego Arbelo, Ignacio Dotti, Manuel Leindekar, Manuel Ardao, Lucas Bianchi, Manuel Diana.

Reserves: Guillermo Pujadas, Matias Benitez, Ignacio Peculo, Juan Manuel Rodríguez, Santiago Civetta, Agustin Ormaechea, Felipe Berchesi, Juan Manuel Alonso.