New Zealand Secures 50th Rugby World Cup Win with 11-Try Thrashing, but Loses Player to Late Red Card
New Zealand achieved an impressive milestone at the Rugby World Cup, securing their 50th win in the tournament with a resounding 11-try victory over Namibia. However, their celebration was dampened by the loss of Ethan de Groot, who received a late red card for a dangerous collision.
The match started in favor of the All Blacks, as they scored their bonus-point fourth try within the first 25 minutes. At halftime, they held a commanding lead of 38-3, with Damien McKenzie and Cam Roigard each crossing the try line twice.
Initially, referee Luke Pearce gave De Groot a yellow card for a high tackle on Adriaan Booysen. However, after a review, the tackle was upgraded to a red card due to the severity of the collision. New Zealand head coach Ian Foster expressed his intention to review the incident and compare it to similar situations from previous matches.
This decision raised questions about the consistency of officiating at the Rugby World Cup, particularly following an incident where France’s Romain Taofifenua avoided a red card for a high tackle.
Prior to this match, New Zealand had suffered two consecutive defeats, including a 35-7 loss to South Africa in a warm-up Test. Their perfect record of 31 wins in World Cup pool stages also came to an end against France. As a result, the All Blacks made nine changes to their lineup for the game against Namibia.
Despite the rainy conditions, New Zealand started strong, with Roigard scoring within 90 seconds. He added another try just five minutes later, while McKenzie also touched down in the 20th minute. Leicester Fainga’anuku contributed to his team’s dominance by scoring their fourth try before halftime. McKenzie went on to score his second try of the match, with Anton Lienert-Brown adding a sixth try shortly before the break.
In the second half, Namibia struggled to maintain their defensive intensity, allowing De Groot, Dalton Papali’i, and David Havili to add more tries within the hour-mark. Winger Caleb Clarke secured try number 10 in the 67th minute, further extending New Zealand’s lead. The All Blacks continued to dominate despite being reduced to 14 players, and Rieko Ioane scored in the closing stages of the match.
With this victory, New Zealand rose to second place in Pool A. Their next match is against Italy on September 29 after a week off. Sam Whitelock also achieved a significant milestone by making his 148th appearance for New Zealand, joining Richie McCaw as the most-capped player in All Blacks history.
For Namibia, who had previously suffered a 52-8 loss to Italy in their opener, the match against New Zealand marked another defeat at the World Cup. Since their debut in 1999, they have yet to secure a win in the tournament, having lost 23 matches. Their focus now turns to their upcoming match against France and their final Pool A fixture against Uruguay.
Namibia’s head coach, Allister Coetzee, acknowledged the challenge of facing a formidable All Blacks side and emphasized the need for improvement in areas such as set-piece play and ball retention.
It was a bittersweet victory for New Zealand, who celebrated their 50th Rugby World Cup win in style but also faced the consequences of De Groot’s red card. As the tournament progresses, the All Blacks will strive to maintain their winning form while addressing areas for improvement.