Saracens star among Namibians vying to keep All-Blacks score down
World Cup favourites New Zealand’s second Pool C match of the tournament comes against rank outsiders Namibia, who’s defence will feel like they’ve run the 10,000m and completed the heptathlon inside the Olympic Stadium once the final whistle eventually comes to the rescue.
Given Japan’s lightning bolt against South Africa, punters hoping to cash in on a similarly seismic shock for the African minnows of world rugby ought to guess again sadly.
To give this match up some context, holders New Zealand have won all 25 of their pool-phase matches in their rich World Cup history, while in contrast, Namibia have lost all 15 of theirs, and only need to concede 26 more points to join the Japanese on 1000 points shipped across World Cups.
The only problem for Phil Davies’ side is they’ve contested three less tournaments than the Cherry Blossoms.
Odds of 1/1000 on the All-Blacks to win are as toxic as the 66/1 on Namibia so this match is all about guessing the size of the cricket score which will follow and cashing in on Ladbrokes’ specials.
Although New Zealand coach Steve Hansen is ringing the changes for the contest following a luke-warm 26-16 opening win over Argentina, the champions will still have half an eye on bettering the World Cup record score set by Australia in 2003, when Namibia were defeated 142-0.
The All-Blacks winning by 100 points or more, or even putting 100 points on the scoreboard at the Olympic Stadium are both subjects of Ladbrokes price boosts.*
Meanwhile it will be up to the likes of Saracens loose forward and Namibia skipper Jacques Burger to try to prevent this kind of morale-sapping scoreline occurring.
It’s an unenviable task against the planet’s finest, though alongside Burger this will be an experienced Test side containing just shy of 299 caps between the named XV.
Other notable players joining Burger in making a third World Cup are former Wasps flanker Tinus du Plessis and scrum-half Eugene Jantjies of Romanian outfit Dinamo Bucuresti.
It will be up to these experienced heads to try and keep a lid on the scoring rate, though given the names on the opposing teamsheet, such as Dan Carter and Julian Savea, that duty is an intrinsically difficult one.
Having impressed Kiwi coach Hansen against the Pumas with a try, keep an eye out for shock skipper for the day Sam Cane.
The 23-year-old becomes the All-Blacks youngest ever captain while Richie McCaw is rested and the flanker is 14/1 to grab the first try of the match.
* New Zealand to win by 100 points or more Was 7/2 Now 5/1
New Zealand to score a 100 points or more Was 9/4 Now 3/1
Savea, Milner Skudder & Slade all to score a Try Was 8/11 Now Evs
Every New Zealand starting Back to score a Try (No’s 15,14,13,12,11,10,9) Was 5/1 Now 8/1
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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