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September 15th, 2007
New Zealand scored 16 tries to thrash Portugal 108-13 in
While this was not the total slaughter many expected, New
Zealand still managed to post the first century of this
World Cup. The world’s No 1 ranked side played some sublime
rugby, especially in the 10-minute period before the break,
but they also allowed Portugal to dominate possession at
Joe Rokocoko got the All Blacks going with two early tries,
but his side weren’t as clinical as usual. Portugal
intercepted a couple poor passes — one which took them to
within a few inches of New Zealand’s tryline — and were
disruptive at the breakdown. The All Blacks also lost
fullback Mils Muliaina to injury in the opening minutes.
Portugal flyhalf Gonçalo Malheiro got his side on the board
with a long-range drop goal, but Isaia Toeava — playing on
the right wing — restored order with a try under the posts.
That opened the floodgates with the All Blacks running in
another five tries – through Ali Williams, Aaron Mauger, Man
of the Match Jerry Collins, Chris Masoe and Andrew Hore – to
lead 52-3 at half-time.
However, it was Portugal who started the second period
strongly, claiming a seven-pointer through replacement prop
Rui Cordeiro. New Zealand hit back with tries from Brendan
Leonard and Nick Evans, but Portugal still dominated
possession for long periods in that third quarter.
The final 20 minutes was all New Zealand, with tries from
Andy Ellis, Leon MacDonald and Conrad Smith taking them to
94 points. Malheiro kicked a penalty for Portugal (who
strangely opted to go for goal), before Carl Hayman brought
up the century with a try under the posts.
New Zealand – Tries: Joe Rokocoko (2), Isaia Toeava, Ali
Williams, Aaron Mauger (2), Jerry Collins, Chris Masoe,
Andrew Hore, Brendon Leonard, Nick Evans, Andy Ellis, Leon
MacDonald, Conrad Smith (2), Carl Hayman. Conversions: Evans
Portugal – Try: Rui Cordeiro. Conversion: Gonçalo Malheiro.
Drop goal: Malheiro. Penalty: Malheiro.
By Simon Borchardt | Keo.co.za