Ben Smith New Zealand overpower Namibia at Rugby World Cup

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Ben Smith Shannon Frizzell

Shannon Frizzell makes yards for the world champions
2019 Rugby World Cup –
New Zealand: (24) 71
Tries:Reece (2), Lienert-Brown (2), Ta’avao, B Smith (2), Moody, Whitelock, J Barrett, PerenaraCons:Barrett (8)
Namibia: (9) 9
Pens:Stevens (3)

World champions New Zealand stretched out to a comprehensive 62-point winning margin over lowly Namibia, but only after the underdogs had held them up with a brave first-half display.

With 35 minutes gone, Namibia, ranked 23rd in the world, were within one point of the three-time winners.

But the All Blacks were in clinical mood in the second half, finishing with 11 tries.

New Zealand will top Pool B if they beat Italy next weekend.

That would set up a quarter-final against the runners-up of Pool A, which is boiling down to a three-way fight between Japan, Ireland and Scotland.

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Namibia defy rankings and expectations

Pre-match expectations of a New Zealand rout were initially confounded as Namibia, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament, showed no sign of being awed by the prospect of taking on the world number one side.

To the delight of Welsh coach Phil Davies, the underdogs scored the first points of the match when impressive

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