Sublime New Zealand set records against Wales

(IRB.COM) Tuesday 14 June 2011
 
 Sublime New Zealand set records against Wales
Luke Whitelock scores one of New Zealand's 14 tries against Wales - Photo: Getty Images

New Zealand may have failed to reach a century against Wales, but they did set a new record for the biggest winning margin in Junior World Championship history, surpassing the 90-point benchmark of South Africa from a 108-18 win over USA in the inaugural tournament in 2008.

The 14 tries scored by the Baby Blacks are still two shy of the South African record from that match in Wales, but that will count for little in a buoyant side who were simply a class apart and worthy of all the superlatives that will come their way for the manner of their victory.

Wales had no answer to the black tide that kept the pressure on for the full 80 minutes, never lifting their foot off the pedal despite the rapidly increasing scoreline, and leaving their opponents to contend with scraps of possession, often at the wrong end of the field.

From the moment Sam Cane, one of a handful of Baby Blacks with Super Rugby experience this year, crossed for the opening try inside a minute, the signs were not good for Wales and the bonus point was safely wrapped up inside the first quarter with Charles Piutau, Cane and Sopoaga touching down.

With fly half Gareth Anscombe and full back Beauden Barrett a constant threat and the catalyst for much of New Zealand's fine play, the try tally had hit seven by half time with Whitelock, second row Steven Luatua and Welsh-born Rhys Llewellyn getting in on the act.

No respite for Wales

It took less than 30 seconds of the second half to get the scoreboard moving again, Anscombe again putting a kick through to create a try for Sopoaga to bring up the half century. Wales brought on their own star fly half Matthew Morgan, but there was little he could do to stem the Baby Black tide.

Scrum half TJ Perenara, Cane - making him the first player to score a hat-trick at JWC 2011 - and Piutau kept the scoreboard ticking over before, trailing 71-0, things got worse for Wales with Ed Siggery sin-binned for reacting when a New Zealand player tried to take the ball from him after he was taken into touch.

Fortunately for Wales, the man disadvantage did not prove too costly with only Brad Shields' try coming in his absence, although the Baby Blacks were unlucky to have another try ruled out by Piutau for an adjudged forward pass.

There was still time though for replacements Glen Robertson, a JWC winner in 2010, and Brad Weber to touch down with Anscombe's conversion the final points for the Baby Blacks, taking the fly half's own tally to 22 - the same as he had managed in the opening win over Italy.

Argentina are next to face the daunting prospect of trying to stop the Baby Blacks' run of 17 consecutive victories on Saturday in the final round of Pool matches, Los Pumitas having beaten hosts Italy 27-3 in the second match in Rovigo.

It will not be an easy task with New Zealand have scored 156 points and conceded just seven so far, scoring 23 tries - only 10 shy of their tally in each of the last three tournaments - and seeing their line breached only once.  

POST MATCH REACTION


New Zealand coach Mark Anscombe: “Getting some dominance up front laid the platform for our backs, who showed today, right across the park from nine to 15, they are all capable of finding gaps. Given a bit of space they were all dangerous and they weaved their magic today because they had good quality ball provided to them.”

 
New Zealand captain Luke Whitelock: “It’s an exciting brand of rugby to play, plenty of fast ball, lots of running. We just need to make sure we continue that sort of form throughout the tournament.”