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Wednesday February 21, 2024

NZ, England set up Rugby WC blockbuster

By AFP
October 20, 2019

TOKYO: The All Blacks overwhelmed Ireland 46-14 and England thumped their old enemy Australia to set up a blockbuster semi-final at the Rugby World Cup on Saturday.

Aaron Smith scored the first two of seven tries by the All Blacks, who kept Ireland scoreless for 70 minutes in a one-sided victory at Tokyo Stadium.

Earlier England beat Australia 40-16, equalling their record margin of victory over their fierce rivals, following Jonny May’s quickfire try double in the first half. It sets up a mouth-watering showdown next Saturday in Yokohama, where top-ranked New Zealand will put their 18-match World Cup winning streak on the line against Eddie Jones’s formidable English.

On Sunday, Wales face France in Oita and hosts Japan, the tournament’s surprise package, play the first World Cup quarter-final in their history against South Africa in Tokyo.

New Zealand are going for their third straight title and they brutally dismissed a misfiring Ireland side who have now lost in the quarter-finals seven times.

Smith’s early double was followed by a score to man-of-the-match Beauden Barrett, who ran on to his own grubber kick, before the All Blacks repulsed an Irish charge to turn 22-0 ahead.

Kieran Read’s off-the-deck offload put Codie Taylor over for New Zealand’s fourth try before Matt Todd grabbed their fifth. Robbie Henshaw finally put Ireland on the board before hooker Dane Coles gave a one-handed offload for George Bridge’s try as New Zealand went 41-7 ahead. A penalty try doubled Ireland’s score before Beauden Barrett fed his brother Jordie for their seventh and final try.