Zac Guildford scored a first half hat-trick against Uruguay
New Zealand began the defence of their title in style by running in 13 tries to beat newcomers Uruguay 75-0 in Pool A on the opening day of the IRB TOSHIBA Junior World Championship at the Mizuho Rugby Ground in Nagoya on Friday.
The number one seeds thrilled the crowd by performing their traditional pre-match haka and, despite fielding only one player from last year’s winning squad in Zac Guildford, New Zealand proved too quick, powerful and skilful for the brave and committed Uruguayans to handle.
Guildford crossed for New Zealand’s first try in the ninth minute and by the time the first quarter of the match had elapsed, the champions led 24-0 with centre Winston Stanley, wing Teddy Stanaway touching down before the Hurricanes wing scored his second try of the match.
The try bonus point was already safely in the bag, but New Zealand kept the scoreboard ticking over through their talented backline with first full back Codey Rei touching down before Guildford completed his hat-trick to give the Baby Blacks a 36-0 lead at half time.
Uruguay continued to play with heart and giving 100 percent to the cause, earning the respect and applause from the crowd of over 1,300 for their efforts, but they could not find the way through a resolute defence and instead it was the New Zealand backs who grabbed the headlines.
Rei and Stanaway scored their second tries of the match, before Uruguay’s task was made all the harder with captain Juan Diego Ormaechea sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, during which time replacement Frae Wilson and centre Shaun Treeby crossed the try-line.
There was still time for replacement Rob Robinson to grab a brace of tries before second row Shahn Eru touched down in the final minute to ensure that at least one forward got their name on the try-scoring charts against Uruguay.
New Zealand now turn their attentions to Ireland, the 19-6 conquerors of Argentina, on the second day of matches on Tuesday, while Uruguay will hope to bounce back against the Pumitas in the all-South American affair in Pool A.
POST MATCH REACTION
New Zealand captain Aaron Cruden: "I think all the boys really enjoyed it, we knew it was going to be a hard task. I think Uruguay came out, showed a lot of excitement and a lot of pleasure in getting out there and finally playing at the World Cup."
New Zealand head coach Dave Rennie: "We are reasonably happy with the way we played, we used the ball well. We have a few things to work on, we weren’t happy with our work in the contact area. We need to be a bit more clinical and aggressive in terms of recycling the ball. But the ball we did get we used pretty well, so lots of positives but still a few things to work on."
Uruguay head coach Bruno Grunwaldt: "It was a very hard match for us, we are not used to the difference between our sizes and their sizes, which was too much for us. It is a strange feeling, we have never lost by such a difference, but I have never been as proud as my boys as today."
Uruguay replacement Joaquin Rocco: "Firstly I want to point out that the New Zealand team are the team I look for, but since I knew I was going to play them, I stopped wearing their t-shirt for practice knowing I was going to stand before them. It was really exciting and really emotional for me."