They came in their tens of thousands to see the one team that resonates here, New Zealand, fans queueing in their black jerseys in the rain more than four hours before the kick-off, a swarm so dense that stewards struggled to find space for coaches and chauffeured limousines to get through to the car park. It was chaotic but no one went home disappointed as the holders, easing through the gears as if running in a new car, outclassed what was a committed Canada. New Zealand – who wore black armbands in memory of the former All Black Stanley “Tiny” Hill, who died on Wednesday at the age of 92 – secured the bonus point five minutes before half-time, but squandered four more opportunities through a mixture of dogged defending, handling errors in conditions that seemed no less humid for the roof being closed and sloppiness that is often a by-product of mismatches. Four tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, including one by Scott Barrett following scores by his brothers Beauden and Jordie, doubled the advantage and gave an indication of what was said at half-time, although it also felt as if someone had belatedly turned… Read full this story
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