The daily tournament preview packs down with Rugby World Cup tips as Namibia confront their Everest in the form of the All Blacks.
15:45 (AEST), Sun 6th Oct @ Ajinomoto Stadium, Chofu
History: Played 1: New Zealand 1 V Namibia 0
Last meeting: September 24, 2015: New Zealand 58 d Namibia 14 at Olympic Stadium
Final Thoughts: New Zealand’s march to top seed in Pool B continues when they take on African minnows Namibia.
The two-time defending champs opened their campaign with a hard-fought 23-13 win over South Africa, virtually assuring they would top the group.
The All Blacks cantered to a 63-0 victory over Canada in their second assignment, scoring nine tries. But they were held scoreless for the last quarter of the match. With a 65.5-point start, line bettors were left frustrated when Beauden Barrett inexplicably bombed a late try.
Namibia scored three tries to cover the line in a 47-22 first-up loss to Italy. But they were taken to the cleaners in a 57-3 loss to a second-string Springboks line-up last weekend.
The big line-up news is the return of champion All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick from injury ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, Jordie Barrett has been handed the No.10 reins and out-of-favour veteran Ben Smith starts at fullback. Ardie Savea is at No.8, with Shannon Frizell on the blindside.
Plenty of other top-liners are in the run-on side, including Aaron Smith, Sam Cane, Anton Lienert-Brown and captain Sam Whitelock. Exciting duo Sevu Reece and George Bridge – the front-runners to play on the wings in the big end-of-tournament games – will be looking to put their name on the scoresheet multiple times.
The teams have met just once previously – at the 2015 World Cup. Namibia arguably overachieved in 58-14 loss, with the All Blacks scoring nine tries to one.
New Zealand’s win over Canada was the biggest of the tournament so far. But with the firepower at their disposal, that big line should get gobbled up.
RUGBY WORLD CUP TIPS
|France V Tonga||Handicap – France -25.5 @ $1.93|