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The New Zealand All Blacks enjoyed an expectedly comfortable win against Namibia at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, though the Namibians did themselves a credit by proving difficult to dislodge particularly in the first half.
All Blacks 71
Trailing Italy and South Africa within their own pool, the All Blacks would like to win today, to put them in the box seat ahead of a matchup with the Azzurri. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 3:45pm (AEDT).
The All Blacks are incredibly heavy as favourites – this will be the most one-sided matchup of the World Cup to date, according to the experts. Namibia have done some good things, and challenged Italy when they played two weeks ago.
Namibia would love a bonus-point win, unlikely as that looks, with Canada looming. A second-placed finish in the pool would see them into the quarters, while a third-placed result means they qualify automatically for the 2023 tournament.
But if you’re looking for a more realistic scoreline, look back to New Zealand’s final warmup against Tonga, which they won 92-7.
In team news, Brodie Retallick has been named to make his return from injury.
Jordie is the sole surviving Barrett from a mistake-athon against Canada, where Beauden and Scott both bombed tries.
The Hurricanes back will take over at flyhalf, where he’ll partner Aaron Smith. TJ Perenara is on the bench and Richie Mo’unga has been left out of the matchday squad.
In other news, the in-form Ardie Savea returns to No.8, which is his best position.
Namibia have made a number of changes for this game. Cliven Loubser, the regular five-eighth will miss the game with an injury. This means the inexperienced Helarius Axasman Kisting will need to steer the ship.
New Zealand will win, and the real storyline will be how their individual players perform. There’s no Kieran Read, but that shouldn’t affect the pack too much against Namibia.
All Blacks to win by 55.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 3:45pm (AEDT).
Venue: Tokyo Stadium
Time: 3:45pm (AEDT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere
Odds: New Zealand $1.001, Namibia $201
Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Anton Lienart-Brown, Jack Goodhue, Sevu Reece.
Dane Coles, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipolotu, Matt Todd, Brad Weber, TJ Perenara, Rieko Ioane.
Andre Rademeyer, Torsten van Jaarsveld, AJ de Klerk, PJ van Lill, Tjuiee Uanivi, Prince !Gaoseb, Thomasau Forbes, Janco Venter, Damian Stevens, Helarius Kisting, JC Greyling, Johan Deysel, Justin Newman, Lesley Klim, Johan Tromp.
Obert Daniell Nortje, Nelius Theron, Johannes Coetzee, Johan Retief, Adriaan Booysen, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl De La Harpe, Janry Du Toit.