HAMILTON, 16 Sept.
New Zealand overwhelmed Japan 83-7 in their Pool A match at Waikato Stadium on Friday night.
The All Blacks had too much power and control for the Brave Blossoms, who attempted to play the game at pace, but in so doing made too many basic errors.
Japan were game in the tackle, but the size and strength of the All Blacks meant their efforts often went unrewarded
New Zealand led 38-0 at half-time. The big lead had been built by tries from Richard Kahui, Jerome Kaino, Keven Mealamu, Conrad Smith, Andy Ellis and Colin Slade, who added four conversions.
Kahui, with his second, Sonny Bill Williams for his first All Black try, Isaia Toeava, Andrew Hore and Ma'a Nonu touched down in the second half.
In the middle of these came some joy for Japanese supporters when Hirotoki Onozawa intercepted an attempted offload from Slade and ran 40 metres to dot down.
A good conversion from Murray Williams made the score at that stage 59-7.
Japan got over the All Blacks line again in the 70th minute, but the try was ruled out for a forward pass.
But the All Blacks were not going to be stopped. The penultimate act of the game was a slick move by New Zealand that ended with flanker Adam Thomson scoring, and two minutes later Williams scored his second try of the night by chasing down a speculative kick to the tryline.