New Zealand Dominates Uruguay 73-0, Advances to Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals

Despite their initial loss to host nation France in the opener, New Zealand, a three-time World Champion, has made a strong comeback with three consecutive victories. Their most recent triumph, a commanding 73-0 win over Uruguay, has secured their spot in the next round. The team is now poised to embark on their journey towards a fourth title and is determined to silence the skeptics in the knockout stages following their initial defeat in the opening round.

Damian McKenzie starred as New Zealand overcame a scoreless opening quarter to hammer Uruguay and book their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
The underdogs put up a spirited fight in the first 20 minutes and almost scored first through Manuel Ardao, he dived over from a fantastic Uruguayan counter-attack but Anton Lienert-Brown just about dragged his foot into touch.
However, McKenzie got the scoring going before creating the third try with a stunning piece of skill, flicking a ball heading to touch back into Will Jordan’s path with the deftness of an NBA player to break Uruguayan spirit.

From there the floodgates opened, with New Zealand averaging over a try every five minutes from the Jordan score and Uruguayans unable to find any breathing space for the remainder of the game.
One thing New Zealand don’t have to worry about is their danger from broken field, Lienert-Brown and Jordie Barrett were the only scoreless starting backs and the back-three of McKenzie, Jordan and Leicester Fainga’anuku scored seven tries between them.
They just ran Uruguay ragged in the second half. The pick of the bunch was Jordan’s second, where New Zealand pinballed it in midfield off the back of a five-metre scrum to utterly bamboozle the opposition defence before Beaudan Barrett fired the ball out for his winger to stroll in.
Fainga’anuku scored a late-game hat-trick to put his name in contention for quarter-final selection, and Leinert-Brown also had a game despite not getting onto the scoresheet.
One player who’ll be disappointed not to make more of an impact is Sam Cane though. The captain’s name was barely mentioned on commentary despite New Zealand’s early struggles, when they really could’ve done with the veteran back-row stepping up and showing his leadership. Fellow flanker Shannon Frizell wasn’t perfect either but got much more involved and Cane will have an uphill task to keep his place in the team with Ardie Savea to come back to the starting XV.
Talking point: Score-happy All Blacks still fallible
It was a proper, old-school drubbing by New Zealand who’ve now scored 170 points in their last two games.
However, Ian Foster will have wanted his team to make a faster start – Uruguay had the better of the opening ten minutes and the All Blacks saw two tries chalked off early for avoidable errors.

New Zealand Dominates Uruguay 73-0, Advances to Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals

They also looked vulnerable in defence straight after the first few scores, before the opposition spirit was well and truly broken.
Uruguay had a knack of earning a set-piece from kick-off as New Zealand allowed pressure straight back onto themselves, and a better team would’ve punished that.
The South Americans also could’ve gone 14-0 up early on, again if the All Blacks are to face Ireland in the quarter-finals they’ll need to step it up a gear.
Player of the match: Damian McKenzie
Foster made nine changes to the New Zealand side that demolished Italy, with everyone looking for who would put their hands up for a place in the quarter-final starting team.
McKenzie is surely the leading candidate despite New Zealand’s plethora of options in the backline.
He notched his fourth and fifth scores of the tournament, gifted Jordan with that absolute wonder-ball and just looked like either scoring or creating a try every time he touched the ball.
Yes, he’ll face tougher defences than Los Teros, but unpredictability is dangerous whoever you’re playing.
McKenzie never seems to know what he’s doing next so defenders often have no chance, but apparent telepathy he enjoyed with the rest of his All Black teammates means any offload, dummy or step can be a fatal one to the opposition.

With Will Jordan and Jordie Barrett, both excellent choices for high-ball situations, there is additional support for McKenzie in the kicking game. Therefore, Foster may be inclined to take a chance on McKenzie, who has the ability to change the course of the quarter-final match.

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