3 Oct 2019

Rugby World Cup: What we learned from the All Blacks' win

3:45 pm on 3 October 2019

The All Blacks are two from two at the Rugby World Cup after beating Canada 63-0 in Oita overnight, here's what we learned from that match.

New Zealand's flanker Matt Todd (C) breaks a tackle during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between New Zealand and Canada at the Oita Stadium.

Matt Todd on attack for the All Blacks against Canada in their World Cup clash in Oita. Photo: AFP

The stats

The All Blacks carried the ball for 920 metres in the match, Canada just 316.

That number was dictated by the possession and territory numbers - New Zealand held the ball for 64 percent of the match, while controlling 71 percent of the territory battle.

The All Blacks also had 172 runs compared to Canada's 87, with 74 of New Zealand's carries getting over the gain-line.

Passing numbers also favoured the All Blacks - they completed 247 to Canada's 87. New Zealand offloaded successfully 21 times to Canada's three.

The All Blacks kicked a total of 25 times to Canada's 29 - New Zealand's kicks went 540 metres while the Canucks' went 412.

At the set piece, New Zealand won 21 of their scrums and lineouts, losing just one, while Canada only won 13 of their 20 combined scrums and lineouts.

Errors galore

It was a hot and humid night under the roof at Oita Stadium, with both teams guilty of errors.

The All Blacks were the own worst enemy at times, in a match where many pundits in the RNZ newsroom expected them to put 100 points on their Canadian opponents.

However, the slippery ball made it hard to hold on to, with Scott Barrett losing it while diving over the try line and brother Beauden also coughing it up just five metres out on a breakaway move.

All Blacks wing Rieko Ioane and flanker Shannon Frizell also found it hard to hold onto, with a couple of handling errors next to their names.

For Canada, tackling was their achilles heel, missing 46 out of 207 attempts.

Canada were forced to tackle twice as much as New Zealand, with the All Blacks missing just 13 out of 99 in total.

Beauden Barrett foes in for his try in the Rugby World Cup match against Canada.

Beauden Barrett goes in for his try in the Rugby World Cup match against Canada Photo: AFP

The All Blacks performance

This All Blacks side was by no means its full strength line up - only four players who started against South Africa kept their spots against Canada (Scott Barrett, Kieran Read, Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett).

Read, Mo'unga, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams and Matt Todd led the statistics for New Zealand.

Read was top of the tackling stats for New Zealand with 12 from 12 successful attempts, Matt Todd was next with 11 from 11.

The captain also carried the ball strongly with 32 metres made and one clean break to his name.

Mo'unga was the All Blacks top point scorer in the match with a perfect eight from eight from the tee (the first try was a penalty try so no conversion was kicked) while also making 41 metres.

Beauden Barrett also carried strongly with 149 metres made from the backfield and one try.

Williams showed why coach Steve Hansen had so much faith in him with 95 metres made, four offloads, three clean breaks and one try to his name.

Replacement halfback Brad Weber also had a night to remember, he scored his first two international tries against Canada while running 79 metres with ball in hand.

Canada's performance

Canada was never expected to beat the All Blacks - in their 15 previous matches New Zealand has won all of them.

This was also only the second time Canada had been kept scoreless at the World Cup, the last time coming in a 20-0 loss to South Africa at the 1995 World Cup.

While the Canucks struggled to keep pace with the All Blacks in the early stages of the match, Canada discovered it had a rush defence in the final 20 minutes of the match - keeping New Zealand scoreless in that quarter.

That final 20 minutes will be the positive Canada will take from the match, they showed guts to keep fighting with the scoreboard so one sided.

Canada's starting halfback Gordon McRorie was arguably his side's best performer with 20 metres made and one clean break, while blindside flanker Lucas Rumball only missed one of his 19 tackles on defence.

New Zealand's centre Sonny Bill Williams scores All Blacks thrid try during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between New Zealand and Canada at the Oita Stadium in Oita on October 2, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

Sonny Bill Williams was one of the All Blacks stand out performers against Canada. Photo: AFP or licensors

Moving forward

The All Blacks are likely to make a number of changes for their short turnaround clash against Namibia on Sunday.

With just a four-day layoff, the All Blacks will be about rest and recovery over the next few days as they try to go top of Pool B - they're currently in second, a point behind Italy.

Coach Steve Hansen will hope the All Blacks won't make as many against Namibia in Tokyo, but overall, as he said in his post match press conference: "[the All Blacks] played pretty well."

Sunday's match against Namibia is at 5.45pm (NZT) in Tokyo.

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