All Blacks romp to 13-try victory
Owen Franks of the All Blacks scrummages during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Japan at Waikato Stadium on September 16, 2011 in Hamilton, New Zealand.
( September 15, 2011 - Photos by Phil Walter/Getty Images AsiaPac)
By Gregor Paul
All Blacks 83
Finally a World Cup blow out and any nerves about injuries and erratic work by the All Blacks have been kicked to touch.
Booted into the back row of the stands as there was a pleasing assurance about the way the All Blacks went about their business. The forwards resisted the temptation to see the whole thing as a bit of pass and giggle and kept their structure; kept their senses on high alter at the tackled ball and ratcheted things up quite significantly at the scrum.
Japan, hardly the biggest rugby side in the World Cup, were given a taste of black medicine that will have been hard to swallow. Such was the All Black power in the set-piece that there were times when it was hard not to be genuinely fearful for the well being of the Japanese players.
Bigger, tougher scrums than the Japanese lie ahead for the All Blacks so they will have been delighted to charge through so convincingly.
The performance was always more important than the result. That the All Blacks were going to win was never in doubt despite the way Japan troubled France in their opening game.
Koji Taira of Japan is tackled by Conrad Smith
Japan v Tonga
NZ v France