Sean Fitzpatrick praises New Zealand bench

McCaw said the All Blacks never worry about what the scoreboard says. I knew straight away.


“We want to get out there and execute our game”, he said.

“It’s a very special moment for 23-year-old Sam Cane“, coach Steve Hansen said on Tuesday.

With Namibia unlikely to test New Zealand, the match has given Hansen the opportunity to field the balance of his squad who were not involved in the opening Pool C win over Argentina.

Nicolas Sanchez converted and put his team in the lead in the 30th minute when New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was caught tripping, and yellow-carded.

It was the blue and white shirts, flags and wigs of the Argentina fans that stood out among the 90,000 people making the short walk up Wembley Way to Britain’s biggest arena for the Pool C clash.

New Zealand are hoping to become the first team to successfully defend the World Cup after triumphing on home soil in 2011.

But they have taken heart from Japan’s upset over South Africa.

“At halftime we realised we needed more energy, it was lacking”, McCaw said.

“So we had to change things, but we had to make sure we didn’t get all tense and anxious about what might happen at the end”, McCaw said. You’re desperate to get started, desperate to get points on the board.

“No doubt we were rusty”.

“I’ve watched most of the games over the weekend and everyone’s been probably half a step off the pace and that’s what comes with the World Cup, especially the first round”.

Slade gets a chance to show his versatility at fullback on Thursday and is happy to have a game, even if not being able to press his claim in his favourite position is a little frustrating.

His vision, speed, sidestep and accuracy have made him the world’s best scrum-half virtually since the All Blacks chose him in mid-2012.

The Argentines kept pushing and were rewarded with a try after some excellent picking and driving, Guido Petti getting over the line but injuring himself in the process. Sam Cane also touched down and Dan Carter scored 16 points in an immaculate kicking display as the two-time winners of the Webb Ellis Trophy prevailed.

Another substitute from that game, hulking centre Sonny Bill Williams, played a major part in steadying the ship for a nervous-looking New Zealand, and is rewarded with a starting spot against Namibia, the lowest-ranked team in the tournament.

Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade was disappointed Argentina could not maintain their lead over the All Blacks.


To ensure they progress to the quarterfinals as expected in second place behind New Zealand, the Pumas must beat Georgia, who they defeated at the last two World Cups, in Gloucester on Friday before overcoming Tonga and Namibia.

The All Blacks perform a haka for Argentina ahead of their opening Rugby World Cup match