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Milner Skudder puts Argentina behind him to dazzle in All Blacks win

Milner Skudder put his Argentina nightmare behind him in some style.

Nehe Milner Skudder scores the second of his two tries.
Nehe Milner Skudder scores the second of his two tries.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

New Zealand 58

Namibia 14

NEW ZEALAND RAN in nine tries to take control of Pool C in the World Cup, but it was a Namibian score that produced the loudest cheer at the Millennium Stadium.

The sight of Johan Deysel bouncing Malakai Fekitoa over the tryline was a rare moment to savour for the Namibians, with New Zealand’s Nehe Milner Skudder bouncing back from Sunday’s disappointing performance to score a brace of excellent tries, and pick up the man of the match award.

Two tries for Julian Savea and one each for Codie Taylor, Ben Smith, Malakai Fekitoa, Beauden Barrett and Victor Vito completed the resounding win, while Sonny Bill Williams again wowed the spectators with some outrageous offloading.

There were boos at Sam Cane’s decision to kick an early penalty at goal, Beauden Barrett casually stroking it over the bar.

But they didn’t have to wait ling for their first try. Julian Savea broke down the wing to bring them close, and a few quick phases later Victor Vito went over in the corner after a great Barrett offload.

Soon after, Nehe Milner Skudder sidestepped the flapping defence to make it 15-0, and the game was already looking over, but Namibia were happy to work their way into the game, Theuns Kotze slotting a long-range penalty to make it 15-3.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool C - New Zealand v Namibia - Olympic Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Sonny Bill Williams then turned on the style.

With an advantage to New Zealand in the 22 they sent it out to the backs, with Williams bullocking his way up to the tryline, before flicking the perfect offload into the hands of the onrushing Malakai Fekitoa, who had the easiest of jobs to touch down under theposts.

Another Kotze penalty made it 22-6, but Beauden Barrett then added to his tally by breaking through the centre of the Namibia defence to wrap up the bonus point.

And in the final play of the half, another barely believable offload from Williams allowed Milner Skudder dive to the corner, the TMO confirming the winger’s second try.

Kotze tagged on another three points at the start of the second half, but New Zealand soon extended their lead when Julian Savea got in on the act, barreling his way over after taking a great hard line through the Namibian defence.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool C - New Zealand v Namibia - Olympic Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

But the moment of the game was just around the corner, as Namibia declined another three points and went for the corner, and after some tidy phases, centre Johan Deysel bounced Malakai Fekitoa onto his backside, en route to scoring a cracking try.

It was as good as things would get though. Prop Jaco Engels went to the sin bin after some cynical hands in the ruck, and substitute Ben Smith took advantage, finishing an overlap in the corner.

There was still time for Savea to grab a second, before Codie Taylor finished the scoring in style, running in after a sensational Milner Skudder offload.

New Zealand scorers:
Tries: Nehe Milner Skudder, Julian Savea (2 each), Codie Taylor, Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Malakai Fekitoa, Victor Vito (1 each)
Conversions: Beauden Barrett (5)
Penalties: Beauden Barrett (1)
Namibia scorers:
Penalties: Theuns Kotze (2)

New Zealand: Colin Slade; Nehe Milner-Skudder, Malakai Fekitoa, Sonny Bill Williams, Julian Savea; Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara; Ben Franks, Codie Taylor, Charlie Faumuina, Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (capt), Victor Vito.

Replacements: Kevin Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Tony Woodcock, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Ma’a Nonu, Ben Smith.

Namibia: Johan Tromp; David Philander, JC Greyling, Johan Deysel, Conrad Marais; Theuns Kotze, Eugene Jantjies; Jaco Engels, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johannes Coetzee, Tjiuee Uanivi, Pieter-Jan van Lill, Jacques Burger, Tinus du Plessis, Leneve Damens.

Replacements: Louis van der Westhuizen, Casper Viviers, Raoul Larson, Renaldo Bothma, Janco Venter, Rohan Kitshoff, Eneill Buitendag, Chrysander Botha.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

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About the author:

Neil Treacy

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