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OITA, Japan (AP) — It was never all about the score for the All Blacks.
With every respect due to Canada, New Zealand had bigger goals in mind for their Rugby World Cup pool match under the roof of the Oita Dome than the handsome win that was expected and delivered with breathtaking blitzes at the start of each half on Wednesday.
The 63-0 result was a let-off for the outgunned semi-professionals from Canada, and another good night for New Zealand, ruthlessly pouring eight tries, plus a penalty try, through a defense that missed 46 tackles. Its second convincing win from two matches propelled it closer to moving its title defense into the quarterfinals.
The All Blacks had boxes to tick, and enjoyed making big ticks in them.
Dual playmakers Richie Mo’unga at flyhalf and Beauden Barrett at fullback, playing their fifth test together, ran rings around the Canadians. Mo’unga was the maestro director, and Barrett was brilliant counterattacking from the back. Their scissors move from a scrum gave replacement scrumhalf Brad Weber his second try. Mo’unga landed all eight of his goalkicks, and one from the sideline drew gasps from the entertained crowd of 34,411.
Barrett ran so much in the Pool B game that, when he had a second try in sight after the fulltime hooter, he lost control of the ball five meters from the line because he ran out of energy. The ball was also slippery in the humid condition
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