New Zealand belatedly ignited their World Cup campaign last night thanks to their ‘quiet assassin’ and the man with the most eye-catching name in rugby.
A week after losing the tournament opener against France 27-13 in Paris, Ian Foster’s All Blacks buried out-classed Namibia on a wet and wild night in Toulouse. In the process, they confirmed the emergence of two bright new talents.
Scrum-half ‘assassin’ Cam Roigard scored two tries and directly created three more, to add to his burgeoning status as bright young Kiwi prospect. Having produced a stunning solo try in the record defeat against South Africa at Twickenham last month, the 22-year-old stole the show in this routine Pool A victory.
Roigard’s first try came in the second minute after a slick handling move on the left flank and his second came just five minutes later, as he twisted over from close range. The Hurricanes rookie went on to create further strikes for Damian McKenzie – twice – and David Havili. He demonstrated the sort of sparky running threat and vision in possession which will make him the natural long-term successor to the great Aaron Smith.
Meanwhile, the other stand-out figure as the All Blacks established a dominant position was massive wing sensation, Leicester Fainga’anuku. In fact, the New Zealand No 11 is Leicester Ofa Ki Wales Twickenham Fainga’anuku. His name is a tribute to places of significance to his father, Malakai, who played for Tonga at the 1999 World Cup.
The efforts of ‘quiet assassin’ Cam Roigard helped New Zealand run rampant against Namibia
The thrillingly-named Leicester Fainga’anuku was another bright spot for the All Blacks
But the contest was marred by a horrific injury to Namibia’s centre Le Roux Malan, who was carried off with a suspected broken ankle
Fainga’anuku had a hand in setting up Roigard’s first try and he touched down himself after blasting through a series of tackles after New Zealand launched a raid from an attacking scrum.
An outrageous reverse pass by All Black prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi was another highlight as Foster’s side ran riot, but the match was marred by an horrific injury to Namibia centre Le Roux Malan, who was carried off with a suspected broken ankle.