And now for the Haka. I love the Haka.
What the hell's going on here? Fifteen minutes in, and it's 0-0. NZ just missed a penalty kick, but they've been playing well below par. I'm not impressed. Canada's been playing well, but NZ's just not going as good as they should be. They are, after all, the All Blacks. They're playing what's basically a B team, but still ...
Well now, this is more like it. Half time, and New Zealand leads 28-3. They've kicked into gear now and scored some good tries, although at times their handling hasn't been overly superb, and the Canadians are playing with passion. If I remember right, this was the score at half time against Italy - wait, NZ was on 28, Italy was on either 0 or 7 - and we just ran away with that in the second half ... I'd love to see a repeat of that here. That'd really be fantastic.
And Carter just missed his first conversion attempt and second kick of ten (the second he missed was a penalty attempt early on). He's been kicking superbly. With six minutes left, it's 61-6 to the Kiwis.
It's all over. 68-6 to New Zealand, and Mils Muliaina scored four of the eleven tries in the game. Fantastic game in the end, even if the first 15-20 minutes were scoreless. The Canadians played well - there's promise there, definitely, and I admire the team - but they were thoroughly outclassed by the mighty All Blacks. This victory pleases me greatly. Daniel Carter scored 18 points, thus he's scored 78 points from five matches - that has to be some kind of record! He's a goalkicking machine! And the last try, scored by Ma'a Nonu, that was good. Carlos Spencer made it look like he was going to kick for a lineout, but then kicked it straight into his hands, flicked it to the right, and then it was passed across the field until someone - I forget who now - suddenly changed the direction, offloaded to Nonu, and he was unstoppable. He just rammed past two Canadians and scored. Kees Meeuws I think it was has also equalled the record for the most amount of tries for a player in his position, according to the commentators. He got his eighth try of his career today - may not be much compared to other positions, but he plays in one forward position that mainly sets up tries and gets possession for the backs to score, and thus don't actually score much themselves.
And to wrap up the scoring for the Kiwis, So'oialo and Caleb Ralph each scored two good tries. Douggie Howlett was brought on late and also nearly got one himself in the dying minute. One stat just stated: NZ has only had nine tries scored against it all year. Compare that to the fact that in the last two games, they've scored 21 (22?) tries alone.
The commentators raised one legitimate point. If the All Blacks thump their opposition, then the opposition is said to be too weak. If the All Blacks don't thump their opposition, it's said that they should've and the team is criticised. They can't win. Either their opposition's too easy or they're not good enough. I think sometimes too high expectations are placed on the All Blacks and/or their opposition. But then again, if you're (playing) the greatest team on Earth, there are pretty high expectations!
Australia is playing Romania. This is a no-contest. Australia should win in a romp. I'd like to see it less than NZ's victories over Italy and Canada, though, just as a boasting point.
France is playing Japan. Japan has passion and some skills, but the French shouldn't struggle at all.
But then there's the big game. England versus South Africa. If England wins, NZ won't meet them until the grand final - that is, if they both make it. If South Africa wins, NZ meets England in the quarter finals, which would be a right shame because then one of the two best teams in the world would bow out earlier than they rightfully should. But England should win. Hopefully. South Africa's form has slipped of late - NZ and Australia, particularly NZ, thumped them in the Tri-Nations Series earlier this year - so that's a good sign for NZ. I'll certainly be barracking for England. Go the Poms!