New Zealand's discipline won them the game, says Erasmus

Monday, 23 Sep, 2019

The match was initially delayed by an hour for free-to-air viewers on TVNZ but the second half was aired live after Spark said they were "uncomfortable" with the quality of the streams that some customers were receiving.

Japan have beaten Russian Federation in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup. The All Blacks are playing four games in 21 days.

Hansen described that tackle as "a match-winner", adding "that's what rugby's about, to try and win the moments that matter".

He said the vast majority of customers had continued watching on Spark Sport.

Other customers were experiencing "localised issues" due to their own devices, and Spark had been helping them through that, Pirie said. "These things are never a good look". The guy caught up, but I could hear the support catching up as well so I felt pretty confident.

It's important to note here that I contract to Sky as a producer, panel guest and occasional commentator.

"My first game in a World Cup is a memory I'll take with me throughout my career".

Tupou soon made a complete mess of a Russian up-and-under deep in Japanese territory, and the fullback could only watch in horror as Golosnitskiy scooped up the loose ball to run over for the fastest try ever scored in a Rugby World Cup opening game.

"Were we ideal? No".

However, a failure to be clinical in front of New Zealand's try line meant that after 16 minutes of being camped inside the All Black's 22 South Africa could only emerge with a solitary three points.

Spark's Pirie told me the issues were caused by the global feed - which seems odd as domestically there was a wide range of experiences, from those who had a ideal feed to others who described it as very bad.

"Our technical team believes the issue is within the worldwide distribution network via which the video stream is passed from our streaming platform located in the United States of America, through to New Zealand broadband providers". Refunds would be offered.

Replacement flanker Francois Louw also pin-pointed the high balls as a problem area for the side, but explained it was a collective effort that requires improvement.

"He [Mo'unga] showed a good pair of wheels", Kolbe told later told reporters.

New Zealand will now face Canada this Wednesday at 10.15pm.

Before almost 64,000 fans in Yokohama International Stadium, the All Blacks set the game alight with a sensational scoring spree against the early run of play.

Mo'unga's cross-field kick to Sevu Reece started the move that led to the first try. From the next phase, Barrett surged through a gap from second receiver and laid on a simple finish for George Bridge.

Ardie Savea personifies all of that.

A Handre Pollard penalty opened the scoring in Yokohama City as Rassie Erasmus' side stormed out of the blocks.

If there is a better loose forward in the world right now I'd like to see him play.

Big men upholding a big name and a big tradition. Winning his 32nd cap since his 2016 debut, he is now a lock for the second lock spot alongside Sam Whitelock - although that might change when Brodie Retallick returns.

This was an important win for the All Blacks.

Saturday's match has the makings of a classic between two teams who know each other well.

No team has ever won the World Cup after losing in the pool stage, but Erasmus believes his side can buck that trend. "They'll want to go out and make their mark as well, create competition in the squad".

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