New Zealand romp to Japan victory

Flanker Adam Thomas at full stretch as he scores a try in New Zealand's emphatic win.

Story highlights

  • New Zealand thrash Japan 83-7 at the Rugby World Cup
  • The hosts score 13 tries and have maximum 10 points after two games
  • The All Blacks now face France, who eliminated them at 2007 tournament
Rugby World Cup hosts New Zealand ran in 13 tries as they recorded a commanding 83-7 victory over Japan in Hamilton on Friday.
The Pool A match was all but over by half-time, with the All Blacks registering six unanswered tries to head into the interval at the Waikato Stadium with a 38-0 advantage.
With their second triumph of the tournament assured, Graham Henry's team continued to press in the second period and added a further seven tries to complete a resounding success.
Japan, who have participated in every edition of the World Cup and are coached by former New Zealand wing John Kirwan, had little reason to cheer, but did manage to touch down beyond the All Blacks' line in the second half through Hirotoki Onozawa.
The result left New Zealand top of their group, with a maximum 10 points from their two games so far. For Japan, this was their second-straight defeat, after a 47-21 reverse against France, and they sit bottom of Pool A.
New Zealand wasted no time in opening the scoring, center Conrad Smith grabbing the game's first try after just three minutes.
The floodgates then opened as wing Richard Kahui, flanker Jerome Kaino and hooker Kevin Mealamu all went over to put the home side 22-0 ahead inside the first half an hour.
The Brave Blossoms were struggling to cope with the All Blacks, who are searching for a first world crown since 1987, and conceded two more tries before half time as both scrumhalf Andy Ellis and flyhalf Colin Slade, who also kicked 18 points in the match, both got in on the act.
New Zealand's pressure was relentless and after the break Kahui ran over for his second try of the match before center Sonny Bill Williams scored his first of the game.
Wing Isaia Toeava made the score 59-0 to New Zealand before Japan finally mustered a response through Onozawa's converted try.
Four more tries followed for New Zealand before the final whistle; hooker Andrew Hore, Ma'a Nonu and flanker Adam Thomas all contributing to the runaway score.
Williams' second try minutes from the end completed the rout for New Zealand, who will head into their September 24 clash with France, the team who eliminated them at the quarterfinal stage of the 2007 tournament, full of confidence.
Japan will continue their bid to advance beyond the pool stage of a World Cup for the first time against Tonga on Wednesday.