Tag: Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

New Zealand booked their spot in the World Cup quarter-finals with an 11-try hammering of Uruguay.

New Zealand booked their spot in the World Cup quarter-finals with an 11-try hammering of Uruguay.

Leicester Fainga’anuku scored a second-half hat-trick in Lyon, while the impressive Damian McKenzie and Will Jordan touched down twice.

Richie Mo’unga, Cam Roigard, Fletcher Newell and fellow replacement Tamaiti Williams also scored.

New Zealand will finish second in Pool A if France avoid defeat against Italy on Friday to top the group.

The All Blacks will play Ireland or Scotland, who meet on Saturday in Paris, or defending champions South Africa in the last eight.

Uruguay leave the competition with their heads held high after impressing for large periods against France and Italy before a second-half fightback against Namibia.

Defeat against New Zealand was their heaviest in the pool stage.

McKenzie presses for starting spot

Before the tournament two-time champions New Zealand hit their best form under Ian Foster and entered their final warm-up game against the Springboks one of the favourites for the World Cup after an 11-match unbeaten run.

But South Africa inflicted the heaviest defeat in All Blacks history on them before France beat them 27-13 in an epic World Cup opener.

However, 14 tries and 96 points last week against Italy reminded the rugby world not to write off New Zealand just yet.

They did not make the same emphatic start because of a stubborn Uruguay defence, before McKenzie injected life into the attack.

The utility back, who scored 26 points in the victory over Namibia, has struggled for a regular starting spot under Foster because of the presence of fly-half Mo’unga and full-back Beauden Barrett.

McKenzie scored the opening try and produced a moment of magic when he regathered his own grubber kick before flicking the ball one-handed back infield for Jordan to score New Zealand’s third.

McKenzie grabbed another in the second period as the Uruguay defence struggled with the relentless New Zealand attack.

He moved to fly-half in the final quarter and kicked two touchline conversions to further strengthen his case.

Captain Sam Cane returned to the starting line-up and New Zealand head into the quarter-finals high on confidence.