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Stuff sport reporter Jackson Thomas discusses the latest ups and downs from the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Richie Mo’unga’s World Cup adventure could take another giant leap forward as the All Blacks eye a record score against Canada on Wednesday night.
That’s the plan, anyway.
The holders of the Webb Ellis Cup are expected to clobber tier-two nation Canada inside the enclosed Oita Stadium in Japan, but any milestones will be secondary to the obvious – a win – and the way playmakers Mo’unga and Beauden Barrett glue the attack together.
The All Blacks have never lost to Canada in five encounters, their biggest win was a 73-7 demolition in Auckland in 1995, and even with the greasy sweat-coated ball expected to make handling difficult they should win in a canter.
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It’s clear that five-eighth Mo’unga, 25, has emerged as a vital component of the All Blacks’ switchboard since Barrett vacated the playmaker’s throne and dropped back to fullback.
An improvement on their impressive efforts during the 23-13 win over the Springboks in the opening game will be expected, but given both men produced gold star performances in Yokohama that may not be easy.
The All Blacks team to play Canada in a Rugby World Cup Pool B match at at Oita Stadium.
Mo’unga, who will play his 14th test in Oita, displayed few nerves as he kicked two conversations and a penalty, and executed a perfect kick-pass to Sevu Reece which resulted in their Crus
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