Live scoring blog - All Blacks v Japan

Play by play commentary

DAN GILHOOLY
Last updated 19:24 16/09/2011

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Six unanswered tries in the first half and seven tries to one in the second - this was the one-way traffic most would have been expecting.

Hard to gauge exactly what this means for the All Blacks but all in all, a better performance than they produced against Tonga a week ago.

The big challenge awaits on Saturday next week at Eden Park against World Cup nemesis France.

FULLTIME: NZ 83 Japan 7.

80: Another NZ bust and again Kahui's in space but he's offloaded to a Japanese defender. Japan counter and unleash a chip-chase which SBW kicks dead.

79: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 83 Japan 7. He's landed nine from 13 conversion attempts tonight.

78: TRY Sonny Bill Williams. NZ 81 Japan 7. 

A fine Nonu cut-out pass puts Kahui clear down the left. Kahui unleashes a good old fashioned centre kick and there's nobody near SBW, who collapses on the ball in rather ungainly fashion for his second try.

77: CONVERSION Colin Slade NZ 76 Japan 7.

76: TRY Adam Thomson. NZ 74 Japan 7.

Ends a 14 minute drought. Cowan surged through a gaping gap from the lineout. He throws a neat backhand flip to the supporting Ali Williams, who hands the impressive Thomson a 20 stroll to the posts.

75: Williams again tries a cross-kick which sails out on the full. NZ lineout, 35m out from their own line. They'll want at least one more try to finish on.

74: No surprise here. Nonu is named man of the match.

73: A scrappy period of play around the centre of the field. Any hopes of an All Blacks century have vanished - in fact they'll struggle to lodge 80 unless they can rustle two late tries.

71: Japan second-five Imamura is down and in some pain. A stretcher has been called. Hopefully it's nothing too serious - he seemed to fall awkwardly in the tackle. Replaced by Tomoki Yoshida.

70: The messy scrums continue. Eventually a slick blindside move puts Kahui in space but Japan win the ball and threaten to break clear. Onozawa bursts across the tryline but Owens had peeped on his whistle some time earlier.

68: Japan halfback Hiwasa makes their best break of the game. He's been a lively performer all night and that bust between Weepu and Thorn bought Japan's beleagured supporters to life. Ball spilled though and it's NZ ball on about halfway.

67: Slade injects from the back in the latest All Blacks attack but he is bundled into touch.

66: Japan enjoy a period of possession but it ends with Onozawa being hurled into touch by SBW. NZ lineout 40m out.

There's actually time to report on the other NZ changes, with Henry taking the chance to experiment a little. Cowan is on for Ellis and Weepu is on at first five-eighth, with Slade dropping back to fullback and Toeava making way.

Up front, Ali Williams is on at lock, with Whitelock going to blindside flank and Kaino to No 8. It's the end of the night for Vito. Afoa is on for Franks at tighthead prop.

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63: Slade misses from out wide.

62: TRY Ma'a Nonu. NZ 69 Japan 7.

Weepu's just on and his chip is gathered by Sonny Bill who embarks on an unforgettable run. He steps and swerves past a host of defenders, ball clasped in one hand. With one defender in front of him, he flings the pass to a grateful Nonu, who deserves a try tonight.

61: Slade misses the conversion.

61: TRY Andrew Hore. NZ 64 Japan 7.

It's getting hard to keep up here. The All Blacks won an attacking scrum from the restart. Ellis does some smart work down the blind and when the ball goes left there's too many numbers, with Nonu sending Hore across with the final pass.

59: CONVERSION Murray Williams. NZ 59 Japan 7.

58: TRY Hirotoki Onozawa. NZ 59 Japan 5

All Blacks go wide from the kickoff but a Slade pass is intercepted by Onozawa 50m out. Nobody's going to stop the flying winger, who has now scored a remarkable 43 tries in tests. At last the Japanese have something to smile about.

57: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 59 Japan 0.

56: TRY Isaia Toeava. NZ 57 Japan 0.

Try of the match. Dinky kick from Ellis is latched onto by Kahui, who storms down the left and offloads superbly to Whitelock, who's having his best game for a long time. Vito is in support and provides a deft offload to Toeava, who bags a double on a night where he has looked dangerous throughout.

55: Shaun Webb is on the field so there it is folks - for the first time in World Cup history we have a Williams, a Webb and an Ellis on the field. Very appropriate.

54: Japan win a penalty from the restart and swing onto a rare attack but more staunch All Blacks holds them out before the inevitable error.

52: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 52 Japan 0.

51: TRY Sonny Bill Williams. NZ 50 Japan 0.

Ball is quickly moved left and whose that busting onto a Slade inside pass but SBW, who makes his second touch. The All Blacks are the first team to raise a half-ton at this tournament.

50: Another lineout steal and the pack rumbles to the line...

49: Japan scrum crunched but the ABs are penalised quick tap by Japan, who lose the ball. They're trying to do things too quickly. Nonu grubbers for Toeava and Williams but the ball just beats both into touch with a try looming.

48: Bad move as Thomson steals the throw. All Blacks surge 60m, with Nonu, Slade, Smith, Ellis and Williams prominent before the ball is spilled.

47: Obstruction by Conrad Smith from the kickoff and Japan have a penalty 40m out. It's a chance for their first points but they kick for touch.

46: CONVSERSION Slade. NZ 45 Japan 0.

45: TRY Richard Kahui. NZ 43 Japan 0.

Quick ruck ball and Slade's long pass finds a drifting Toeava. He finds Kahui with a sharp short ball and the strapping wing has his second, maintaining his form from Tonga, where he also bagged a double.

45: The first two All Blacks changes of the night. Hore for Mealamu at hooker and Hore assumes the captaincy. And, intriguingly, it's Sonny Bill Williams replacing Cory Jane... on the right wing! How will the human headline peform out of position, something coach Graham Henry hinted would happen tonight.

44: Scrum collapses and Japan are penalised again. All Blacks call another scrum.

43: Lineout is thrown too far by Japan and the All Blacks surge. Vito offloads in the tackle but it finds Imamura. Japan lose possession soon afterwards and it's an All Blacks scrum 20m out.

42: Japanese lineout win but their kick again is ineffective and the All Blacks keep ball in hand.

A neat Slade grubber is nearly controlled by Jane with the boot but the ball rolls out agonisingly.

41: Japan No 8 and captain Kikutani wins the kickoff but the deep kick is fielded by Kahui, who busts a tackle and makes ground before the ball goes out.

It's proving to be a fairly predictable rout of an understrength Japanese side.

This was always going to be one of those no-win games for the tournament hosts, who were expect to run up the points but will probably get little credit for doing so against opponents who won't have experienced this level of rugby before.

Six tries, four converted by Colin Slade, pretty accurately reflects the one-sided nature of this match.

The home pack were put through a decent work out in the first 25m but when it became clear the Japanese were making little headway at the collision the die was cast.

Nonu and Smith have been the chief beneficiaries of the pack's growing dominance, making a series of line breaks.

The scrums have been messy although NZ are clearly on top there while Thomson and Whitelock ruled the lineout airways after one early blunder.

Japan first five-eighth Murray Williams has had little ball to play with. He's spent much of the night tackling, along with most members of his pack.

The challenge now for the All Blacks is to maintain standards, something they didn't do against Tonga seven days ago.

HALFTIME: NZ 38 Japan 0.

40: All Blacks lineout from 25m out. Can they end the half on a bright note?

It's another Thomson lineout win. Some messy backline work but the forwards recover. Nonu makes a half-break but there's his first mistake of a dominant half as he spills the ball forward in trying to offload.

39: This is a blight though. Owens doesn't know what to do to prevent these constant scrum delays. Another one drags on, with plenty of talk from all parties. The Japanese can get a rest. Finally Japan are penalised as their scrum back-pedals at a rate of knots.

38: We're at a point-a-minute now and the All Blacks are right on top after some physical early exchanges. Looks like we'll get the first real blow-out of the tournament tonight.

37: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 38 Japan 0.

36: TRY Colin Slade. NZ 36 Japan 0.

The floodgates are well and truly open. Nonu is put in space from the restart after a slick wide pass. Then there are a series of inside passes from Toeava to Ellis to Slade, whose confidence has come flooding back.

35: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 31 Japan 0.

34: TRY Andy Ellis. NZ 29 Japan 0.

Another straightforward midfield bust, this time from Smith after a nice decoy run from Slade. Smith finds Ellis who slips out of a half-tackle for his fourth test try in his 26th test.

32: Japan fail to kick the restart 10m. A series of messy scrums ensue before Japan are penalised. Attacking All Blacks lineout.

30: Conversion Slade (from pretty wide out). NZ 24 Japan 0.

29: TRY Keven Mealamu. NZ 22 Japan 0.

Nonu is proving impossible to contain. A clean one-on-one bust sends his team on their way. He finds Jane, who steps and goes close. From the result play there are huge numbers to the left and it's Nonu's final transfer which sends the nuggety hooker over.

28: Messy scrum but at least we're under way and Nonu goes surging through...

27: Long delays at this scrum. Both sides struggling to get a grip. Owens decides it's an All Blacks put-in now.

26: Thomson wins another lineout. After that early mistake, things have operated well. The All Blacks drive but Owens has spotted a technicality and Japan get a put-in.

24: Japan go through 16 phases and make a grand total of two metres. Some juggernaut All Black defence, with Vito and Mealamu particularly prominent. Japan willing to play with the ball but are losing most of the collisions. Advantage line is king. Eventually they're penalised and Slade clears to halfway.

23: Thomson wins the kickoff well but Slade spills simple pass. Knock-on and his confidence won't be in a good place right now.

22: Slade misses from 15m in. He's landed just one from four now.

21: TRY Jerome Kaino. NZ 17 Japan 0.

Some staunch defence on their own line was always going to crack at some stage and they couldn't prevent powerhouse Kaino's surge after several teammates had had a crack. Kaino and Nonu are giving the Japanese all sorts of problems with their power running.

20: NZ lineout won by Thomson and there's some fairly ineffectual hitups before a Toeava inside ball puts Nonu into space. Japan penalised as the All Blacks surge at the line. Quick tap and a try seems inevitable...

19: Whitelock again with two hands and that's a beautifully-weighted Ellis bomb but well marked by right wing Onozawa.

18: Restart won and Kaino charges 20m but momentum is lost and the All Blacks fail to commit numbers to a breakdown. Ball goes out and Mealamu to throw on halfway.

17: Slade misses the conversion from the left touch.

16: TRY Richard Kahui. NZ 12 Japan 0.

Emphatic team try, finished off by Kahui with a sweet fend on the cover defender to give him his third try of the tournament and ninth in 14 tests. Set up by powerful forward drive, the ball went quickly through the hands and a slip by Japanese centre Taira is enough to create space for a Toeava insertion.

15: Two-handed win by Whitelock and they start marching a drive from 20m out... 15m out... 10m out and it's released....

13: A cross kick by Murray Williams doesn't work and the ball sails out on the full. A quick throw and Toeava beats a defender to put the All Blacks onto attack. Japan are penalised for not rolling away and Slade steps up. He's just over 40m out but opts to clear for touch rather than line up the posts.

12: A lively Japanese attack mounted, with the ball being swung from side to side of the field and there's a good attack structure, with good technique at the breakdown. Eventually there's a turnover and Ellis clears to halfway.

11: All Blacks penalised twice in a minute for offences at the tackle. Japan with an attacking lineout throw.

10: Slade with a bad miss from a handy position. Japan drop out.

8: Sloppy Japanese lineout is snapped up by Ellis, who roll through the phases before Japan are pinged again for offside. They're rushing up at every opportunity to cut down New Zealand momentum but referee Owens is on to it.

7: Woodcock penalised for illegal binding. Japan clear to 35m out.

6: Mealamu's throw is comfortably won by Japan, poor start. Japan put in a poor kick and the All Blacks surge back onto the attack through some slick work before the ball is knocked on by Ellis. Japan scrum 10m from their own line.

5: All Blacks win the restart and Japan are pinged for offside at the ruck. They've made a nervous start. NZ lineout 25m out.

4: CONVERSION Colin Slade. NZ 7 Japan 0

4: TRY Conrad Smith. NZ 5 Japan 0

It came from a Japan turnover on halfway. The ball is quickly transferred left from Owen Franks to Vito, who bursts into space. He in turn finds, Nonu, to Toeava, to Smith, who is celebrating his 50th test. There's little Japan could do to stop it. They'll pay for turnovers like that.

3: All Blacks looking solid on their own ball but it's gone down. Reset. They hit it up through Conrad Smith before Slade kicks deep. Japan run it back but turn it over...

2: Japan win their first lineout cleanly and they too go through a couple of phases before an error. Knock on, first scrum.

1st minute: Vito wins the kickoff and the ball goes through a couple of phases before Toeava makes a poor clearance. Out on the full. Japan lineout 25m out.

The Ka Mate haka is complete. We await the opening whistle from Welsh referee Nigel Owens.

Both teams are on the field. Conditions look cool and still so reason why we can't see an open affair tonight.

The All Blacks will look to execute considerably better than they did against Tonga but must recover from a disruptive week in which injuries have sidelined key players Richie McCaw, Mils Muliaina, Dan Carter and Israel Dagg.

Japan coach John Kirwan has named a weakened side, leaving them with a major challenge to keep the tournament hosts in check.

Join us for a live blog commentary of the Rugby World Cup pool A match between the All Blacks and Japan at Hamilton.

Both teams are playing their second match, with the All Blacks having opened their campaign last Friday with a 41-10 defeat of Tonga in Auckland while Japan impressed before losing 47-21 to France at Albany.

Kickoff is at 8pm.

Teams:

New Zealand: Isaia Toeava, Cory Jane, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Richard Kahui, Colin Slade, Andy Ellis, Victor Vito, Adam Thomson, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Keven Mealamu, Woodcock. Reserves: Andrew Hore, John Afoa, Ali Williams, Anthony Boric, Jimmy Cowan, Piri Weepu, Sonny Bill Williams

Japan: Taihei Ueda, Takehisa Usuzuki, Koji Taira, Yuta Imamura, Hirotoki Onozawa, Murray Williams, Atsushi Hiwasa, Takashi Kikutani (capt), Michael Leitch, Itaru Taniguchi, Toshizumi Kitagawa, Hitoshi Ono, Nozomu Fujita, Yusuke Aoki, Naoki Kawamata. Reserves: Hiroki Yuhara, Kensuke Hatakeyama, Yuji Kitagawa, Sione Talikavili Vatuvei, Tomoki Yoshida, Shaun Webb, Alisi Tupuailai.

- Stuff

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