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All Blacks not in top gear yet: Hansen

New Zealand 63 Canada 0

Reunited: Former Royal School Dungannon pupil Peter Nelson (left), now of Canada, and Angus Ta’avao of New Zealand, who coached at the school, pose for a photo after yesterday’s game
Reunited: Former Royal School Dungannon pupil Peter Nelson (left), now of Canada, and Angus Ta’avao of New Zealand, who coached at the school, pose for a photo after yesterday’s game

By Robert Jones

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen was typically conservative in praise of his side after their crushing 63-0 World Cup win against Canada.

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The All Blacks, bidding for a record three successive World Cup crowns, exposed Canada's shortcomings in Oita to run in eight tries and a penalty try.

"It was a pretty good performance when you break it down, particularly the first part of that second half when they really came together and played good, controlled rugby," Hansen said.

"It was really difficult conditions. The humidity is unbelievable, and while people at home will be wondering why they dropped a few balls, it's very, very difficult, so I think they've done well."

The Barrett siblings, Beauden, Jordie and Scott, all touched down on the day they became the first trio of brothers to appear for their country at a World Cup.

After an early penalty try, awarded after skipper Kieran Read had dived over from a five-metre scrum, Jordie Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams and Beauden Barrett all went over.

Further tries in the second period from Rieko Ioane, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell and replacement scrum-half Brad Weber's brace completed the rout, while imperious fly-half Richie Mo'unga was successful with all eight of his conversion attempts.

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Centre Williams was central to most of New Zealand's attacking flair after being named as one of 11 changes from the opening 23-13 win against South Africa.

"He's always been pushing," Hansen said. "We're very blessed in the midfield with the talent that we've got, and of course (centre) Ngani (Laumape) is at home. We're very blessed and it's good to have people in form."

When asked what his side could improve on, Hansen added: "The first 20 minutes of the second half, we've got to turn that into 80 minutes, and if we can we won't be far away."

Canada head coach Kingsley Jones, whose side lost their opening Pool B match 48-7 to Italy, was full of praise for his players.

"I'm really proud of the guys," Jones said. "I thought the way they stuck in there, you know we had big chunks of the game where we were really in it.

"They showed true Canadian grit. Every one of them can look in the mirror and be proud of their performance.

"Other times, I'm admiring the All Blacks' accuracy, skill, speed and the bottom line is collisions - the speed and power that they can deliver at times.

"It really causes big problems, and after that it's difficult to deal with and difficult to defend."

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