| 13.5°C Belfast

Rugby World Cup: All Blacks try, try and try again in Tonga demolition job

Close

Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland

Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ryan Pierse

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richard Kahui of the All Blacks goes over to a score his second try during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richard Kahui of the All Blacks goes over to a score his second try during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  The All Blacks look on as The Tongans perform the Sipi Tau during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: The All Blacks look on as The Tongans perform the Sipi Tau during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

All Blacks Israel Dagg, right, is tackled by Siale Piutau during their Rugby World Cup game at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.(AP Photo/Ross Land)

All Blacks Israel Dagg, right, is tackled by Siale Piutau during their Rugby World Cup game at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.(AP Photo/Ross Land)

Ross Land

Fireworks explode over Eden Park during the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. The New Zealand All Blacks will play Tonga in the opening game. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Fireworks explode over Eden Park during the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup in Auckland, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011. The New Zealand All Blacks will play Tonga in the opening game. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Mark Baker

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Graham Henry, coach of the All Blacks looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Graham Henry, coach of the All Blacks looks on ahead of the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richard Kahui of the All Blacks goes over to score a try during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richard Kahui of the All Blacks goes over to score a try during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Isaia Toeava of the All Blacks evades a tackle from Aleki Lutui of Tonga during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Isaia Toeava of the All Blacks evades a tackle from Aleki Lutui of Tonga during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richard Kahui of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richard Kahui of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Owen Franks of the All Blacks evades a tackle from Sukanaivalu Hufanga and Viliami Ma'afu of Tonga during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Owen Franks of the All Blacks evades a tackle from Sukanaivalu Hufanga and Viliami Ma'afu of Tonga during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

Hannah Johnston

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks celebrates scoring his try with Dan Carter and Richard Kahui of the All Blacks during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks celebrates scoring his try with Dan Carter and Richard Kahui of the All Blacks during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images)

Sandra Mu

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Phil Walter-Pool/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter-Pool/Getty Images)

Phil Walter

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks changes his shirt during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks changes his shirt during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ryan Pierse

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks looks on during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ryan Pierse

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Ma'a Nonu of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Ma'a Nonu of the All Blacks runs with the ball during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ryan Pierse

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Ali Williams of the All Blacks and Joseph Tuineau of Tonga clash during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand.  (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Ali Williams of the All Blacks and Joseph Tuineau of Tonga clash during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ryan Pierse

/

Richie McCaw leads the All Blacks as they perform the Haka during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between New Zealand and Tonga at Eden Park on September 9, 2011 in Auckland

The All Blacks ran in six tries to begin their quest for a first World Cup triumph in 24 years with victory over Tonga in the tournament opener at Eden Park.

Full-back Israel Dagg and wing Richard Kahui showed they deserved their starting spots as they crossed for two tries apiece in the opening half, with fly-half Dan Carter adding a penalty and three conversions for a 29-3 half-time lead.

Kurt Morath responded with a penalty for Tonga.

But the All Blacks were nowhere near as impressive after the break, with their disjointed attacking play and under-pressure scrum giving coach Graham Henry plenty of food for thought.

But they managed to add further tries from Jerome Kaino and Ma'a Nonu, while replacement Sona Taumalolo crossed for the visitors.

With the players having to wait for the formalities of a spectacular opening ceremony to be completed it was little surprise that there was a frantic start to proceedings.

A rush of blood from Tonga saw them take a quick line-out on their own line, with Taniela Moa's resulting clearance being charged down.

That set up a penalty chance that Carter easily slotted for the opening points of the tournament.

The fly-half was soon paving the way for the opening try in the 11th minute.

His pass saw wing Kahui make the initial break up the middle to link with Sonny Bill Williams, and when the ball came back left Dagg eased over for an unconverted score.

Some lovely inter-passing between Nonu, Williams and Isaia Toeava then sent Kahui over for the second try, Carter adding the extras for a 15-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Williams' audacious offloading skills were causing the Tonga defence huge problems, and they were in evidence again as his brilliant one-handed pass gave Dagg a second try on a plate, Carter again converting.

The All Blacks were soon over again as Dagg's out-the-back-door pass saw Kahui streak clear and drag full-back Vunga Lilo over the line, the try again converted by Carter.

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required

Tonga did at least get on the scoreboard, as fly-half Kurt Morath, off target with an early attempt from distance, landed a penalty right on half-time.

The South Sea Islanders did well to repel strong surges by Williams and Richie McCaw early in the second half, before preventing an early contender for try of the tournament.

Sonny Bill Williams looped around lock Ali Williams on his own 10-metre line and slid a delicate grubber through for Toeava. The wing gathered but was clattered by some brave last-ditch defence.

Tonga then lost captain Finau Maka, who had been struggling with an Achilles problem, to injury and almost conceded another try moments later, but Toeava was adjudged to have had a foot in touch by the video referee.

The fifth try eventually arrived just before the hour mark thanks to more inspired play from the outstanding Kahui. The Chiefs three-quarter chipped over two defenders, regathered and flipped the ball inside for Kaino to cap his powerful display with a score. Carter struck the post with the simple conversion.

Tonga then enjoyed their best passage of the match as replacement Taumalolo forced Carter to spill the ball, the visitors spent phase after phase within sight of the line and eventually got their reward when Taumalolo burrowed through the fringe defence to dot down.

But New Zealand had the last word as Nonu finished a fine breakaway move, replacement Colin Slade adding the extras.



Rugby Union World Cup Pool A New Zealand (29) 41 Tonga (3) 10 New Zealand: Tries: Dagg 2, Kahui 2, Kaino, Nonu. Cons: Carter 3, Slade. Pens: Carter. New Zealand: Dagg, Kahui, Nonu, S. Williams, Toeava, Carter, Cowan, Woodcock, Hore, O. Franks, Thorn, A. Williams, Kaino, McCaw, Vito. Replacements: Jane for Toeava (62), Slade for Carter (74), Weepu for Cowan (53), B. Franks for Woodcock (45), Flynn for Hore (74), Whitelock for Thorn (56), Boric for Vito (75). Tonga: Tries: Taumalolo. Cons: Morath. Pens: Morath. Tonga: Lilo, Iongi, Hufanga, Ma'ilei, Piutau, Morath, Moa, Tonga'uiha, Lutui, Filise, Hehea, Tuineau, Kalamafoni, Maka, Ma'afu. Replacements: Fisilau for Hufanga (75), Fatafehi for Ma'ilei (41), Taumalolo for Tonga'uiha (53), Taukafa for Lutui (41), Pulu for Filise (53), Timani for Hehea (41), Vahafolau for Maka (54). Att: 60,000 Ref: George Clancy (IRFU).

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?


Top Videos



Privacy