Class gulf as All Blacks blow away Canada 63-0

New Zealand’s center Sonny Bill Williams scores All Blacks’ third try against Canada. (AFP)
Updated 03 October 2019

Class gulf as All Blacks blow away Canada 63-0

OITO, JAPAN: Refreshed after an 11-day break, New Zealand gave Canada a 63-0 thrashing that was expected in the Rugby World Cup on Wednesday.

The gulf in class between the defending champion All Blacks and the last team to qualify for the tournament was always going to be measured by a high score, and the New Zealanders poured eight tries, plus a penalty try, through a defense that missed 46 tackles.

After a first half that turned messy in humid conditions under the Oita Dome, New Zealand sent on replacement scrumhalf Brad Weber and midfielder Ryan Crotty to tidy up the attack, and they turned it on, being ruthlessly entertaining.

Winger Rieko Ioane, trying to find the form to become a regular starter again, glided in for his 24th try in 27 tests after a Jordie Barrett catch and Sonny Bill Williams break. There followed four more tries in the next 16 minutes for New Zealand to rocket to from 28-0 at halftime to 63-0. One of the tries went to lock Scott Barrett, who joined his brothers Beauden and Jordie as try-scorers, supplementing their milestone as the second trio of brothers to play in the Rugby World Cup after the Vunipola brothers of Tonga in 1995.

There was no more scoring through the last quarter, but only because the pace the All Blacks were playing at was too quick for even themselves, and passes were knocked on or forward to let the Canadians off the hook.

Dominating almost every category and making most of the running, the All Blacks made 15 handling errors. But they made 24 breaks to Canada’s three, and 94 carries over the gain-line to Canada’s 29.

The All Blacks almost scored inside a minute from the opening kickoff, surging to the posts until the Canadians scrambled to hold up scrumhalf TJ Perenara. It took until the fifth minute for the first try to come as the scrum pushed the Canadians back over their tryline between the posts. But before captain Kieran Read could touch down, Canada scrumhalf Gordon McRorie interfered and the All Blacks received a penalty try.

Jordie Barrett had the honor of the first try, taking a crosskick from flyhalf Richie Mo’unga with no Canadian within 10 meters of him. He just had to catch and fall over.

The impressive Williams almost set up a try for Ioane, then took matters into his own hands with a step off his left foot for the gap, and stretching out to score with Canada hooker Eric Howard on his back. At 21-0 after 17 minutes, the match was going as expected.

Then it went sloppy. A ruck pass by prop Atu Moli surprised flanker Matt Todd, and Canada’s McRorie intercepted. Peter Nelson was almost to the tryline when he was scragged by Beauden Barrett. As the All Blacks scrambled, Read made what appeared to be a no-arms shoulder charge to a Canadian player’s head, the kind of contact which has been heavily penalized by World Rugby at this tournament.

The All Blacks survived but there was a bombed try by Scott Barrett, who dropped the ball over the line and dropped catches. Coach Steve Hansen looked uncomfortable in the stands. Just before halftime, a Williams grubber kick was snatched by Beauden Barrett to score the fourth, bonus-point try. The 28-0 scoreline flattered the Canadians but they would have been pleased it wasn’t worse.


Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

  • Prince Faisal said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.

President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions. 

“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.

“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”

Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model. 

“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”

He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.

“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said. 

“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.

“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”

Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.

“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.