The All Blacks would not have gone to sleep comfortably on Saturday night after Italy achieved a bonus point victory of 52-8 over Namibia in Group A of this year’s World Cup in Saint-Etienne on Saturday afternoon.
The All Blacks compete in Group A alongside France, Italy, Namibia and Uruguay. In advance, it was widely expected that the Roosters and All Blacks would make it to the quarter-finals.
But after the All Blacks were beaten 27-13 by the Roosters in the opening game on Friday night, their battle against the Azzurri took on new meaning.
Forget about the fact that Italy will be the milk cows in the WB tournament as in previous tournaments.
They have already shown an upswing in this year’s and last year’s Six Nations series and delivered several good performances.
They have a solid pack and have quite a few playmakers and playbreakers at the back who can make the difference.
Namibia, who have played in every World Cup tournament since 1999, have now lost 23 consecutive matches.
But they are fighters who never lay down.
There were quite a few good signs, but with a lack of player numbers and depth, it was always going to be an uphill battle.
They kept up before the break but then ran out of steam as the forwards couldn’t secure enough possession.
In addition, the fiery hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld received a yellow card in the first half after he pulled off a rolling movement on his own goal line.
This cost the Namibians dearly, because their energy was badly drained.
Namibia’s next match is against the All Blacks in Toulouse on Friday evening, while the Italians will not play Uruguay again on September 20 in Nice.
Scorers: Italy 52 (17) Tries: Lorenzo Cannone, Paolo Garbisi, Dino Lamb, Ange Capuozzo, Hame Faiva, Manuel Zuliani, Paolo Odogwu. Goals: Tommaso Allan (7). Penalty Goal: Alan.
Namibia 8 (8) Three: Gerswin Mouton. Penalty Goal: Tiaan Swanepoel.
* In Bordeaux, Ireland showed why they are the top team in the world rankings when they thrashed Romania 82-8.
Romania kicked off like an express train and took the lead within the first few minutes after a try by Gabriel Rupanu, but then derailed due to a lack of fitness, coordination and skills.
Very few supporters gave the Romanians any chance and it was rather a case of how far they would have lost.
The great attention was directed at Johnny Sexton, the Irish flyhalf, who made his comeback after six months after an injury and a suspension.
Sexton played for 60 minutes and was the architect of the victory. In addition, he scored two tries and contributed 14 points with seven field goals.
Along with Bundee Aki and Peter O’Mahony, they were devastating.
Scorers: Ireland 82 (33) Trys: Jamison Gibson-Park, Hugo Keenan, Tadhg Beirne (2), Bundee Aki (2), Johnny Sexton (2), Rob Herring, Peter O’Mahony (2), Joe McCarthy. Goals: Sexton (7), Jack Crowley (4).
Romania 8 (8) Three: Gabriel Rupanu. penalty goal: Rupanu.