In Summary
  • Namibia are the World Cup's undisputed whipping boys, after never winning a game in the competition
  • Barrett rediscovered his kicking boots in the second half, nailing eight conversions and capping a fine all-round performance with a late try
  • The All Blacks extend their record World Cup winning streak to 17 matches dating back to the 2007 quarter-finals

TOKYO

An experimental New Zealand side recovered from a sticky start and two yellow cards to hammer Namibia 71-9 and move one step closer to finishing top of their pool at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday.

Namibia battled to within a point at 10-9 after half an hour before the two-time defending champions accelerated away to eclipse their 58-14 victory over the Welwitschias at the 2015 World Cup.

It put the All Blacks top of Pool B after three games, with one more to come against Italy next Saturday as the quarter-finals beckon. Second-placed South Africa round off their pool matches against Canada on Tuesday.

Namibia are the World Cup's undisputed whipping boys, after never winning a game in the competition and suffering embarrassing defeats like 142-0 against Australia in 2003.

The last time they beat a Tier One nation was Ireland in 1991, but they turned up to play at a cool, windswept Tokyo Stadium and were first on the board through a Damian Stevens penalty after two minutes.

New Zealand's Jordie Barrett, in his first start at fly-half, put in Sevu Reece with an assured cross-field kick just three minutes later, but then missed the conversion.

Anton Lienert-Brown stormed through a gap and fended off two defenders for New Zealand's second try on 20 minutes, but Barrett scuffed his conversion once again.

The All Blacks were finding it hard going against the physical Namibians, who twice worked their way up field and won a pair of penalties which Stevens knocked over to take them to only 10-9 down after half-an-hour.

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