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Home   >   News   >   Article

Australia totals 142, Namibia out for nil


By Philippe Alfroy
Saturday, October 25, 2003
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Start of the rout: Chris Latham scores the first try of the match unaware that he would cross the white line a further four times. Photo: Craig Golding

An Australian second-string XV brushed aside African minnows Namibia 142-0 in Adelaide today with a 22-try display which would have been stopped at half-time had it been a boxing match.

In the latest and worst in a succession of blowouts that have scarred the group stages of the competition, Australia scored the biggest ever winning margin in World Cup history and rewrote most of their own national records.

"We just got a thorough rugby lesson today," said Namibia coach Dave Waterston.

"It was men against boys. I thought the All Blacks were the most ruthless in world rugby. But they (Australia) were ruthless.


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"If this was the second string side, there must be some nervous guys in the first."

Five-try Australian fullback Chris Latham said: "There were a lot of boys jumping out of their skin in the first five minutes. It was good to get a run across the whole squad."

Australia wasted no time in going ahead in sunny conditions at the Adelaide Oval - the scene of cricketing declarations not a million miles away from today's scoreline - rugby league convert Lote Tuqiri powering his way up the right wing and back flipping a pass for Latham to run in under the posts.

Mat Rogers, switched from fullback to the wing, converted to make it 7-0 after three minutes.

Six minutes later the writing was already on the wall as the Namibian players struggled to cope with the Australian charges.

Lock Justin Harrison was brought down inches short of the line but scrum-half and skipper for the day Chris Whitaker fed the ball out to No8 David Lyons who easily went over for Rogers to convert into a 14-0 lead.

Namibia were constantly on the back foot and tries followed rapidly for Latham (9th min), centre Stirling Mortlock (12th min) and Tuqiri (16th min) and it was 33-0 after just 16 minutes.

The Australians, with a mainly second-string XV on the field, were lining up to score as tackle after tackle was brushed aside.

The home pack took over the scoring to win a penalty try with Namibia collapsing a scrum on their own line after 20 minutes to make it 40-0 and all that was left was the record books.

Tries followed from Latham (25th min, 39th min), Rogers (30th min), hooker Jeremy Paul (33rd min) and Tuqiri (37th min) making it 69-0 at half-time with 11 tries on the board already.

It was more of the same in the second period in what had become an embarrassingly lopsided contest.

Stand-off youngster Matt Giteau jinked through to dot down under the posts for Rogers to convert for 76-0 two minutes into the half and Tuqiri grabbed his hat-trick of tries two minutes later after Mortlock had pounded through the middle taking three Namibian defenders with him.

Namibia were powerless to stem the flow of points, and the ton was soon up after more tries from centre Nathan Grey (47th min) and Giteau (50th min, 54th min).

The Australians rung the changes from the replacement's bench, and it was one of them, centre Morgan Turinui, who ran in the 17th try after 59 minutes to make it 109-0.

Tries from centre Matt Burke (65th min), Turinui (72nd min), Latham (74th min), Rogers (77th min) and John Roe (79th min) took the Wallabies past the biggest ever World Cup winning margin before French referee Joel Jutge blew to put the Namibians out of their misery.

Records tumble as Namibia crumbles

* Biggest winning margin by Australia in a Test match, beating previous record of 92 set v Spain (92-10) in 2001 in Madrid, and equalled last Saturday v Romania (90-8) in Brisbane.

* Most points by Australia in a Test, beating 92 v Spain in 2001.

* Most tries (22) by Australia in a Test, beating 13 v South Korea (65-18) in 1987 in Brisbane, v Spain (92-10) in 2001 in Madrid, v Romania (90-8) in 2003 in Brisbane.

* Most tries (22) scored in World Cup history, beating 21 scored by New Zealand v Japan (145-17) in 1999.

* Biggest Rugby World Cup winning margin, beating previous record of 128 set by New Zealand v Japan (145-17) in 1999.

* Most tries scored by Australian player in a Test, Chris Latham's five tries beating previous best of four each to David Campese, Greg Cornelsen, Latham and Jason Little.

* Most points scored by Australian player in a Test, Mat Rogers' haul of 40 beating previous best of 39 held by Matt Burke v Canada in Brisbane in 1996.

* Most conversions by Australia in a Test, 16 by Rogers beating 10 by Matt Burke v Spain in 2001.

AUSTRALIA 142 (Chris Latham 5, David Lyons, Stirling Mortlock, Lote Tuqiri 3, Mat Rogers 2, Jeremy Paul, Matt Giteau 3, Nathan Grey, Morgan Turinui 2, Matt Burke, John Roe tries, penalty try; Mat Rogers 16 conversions) bt NAMIBIA 0 at Adelaide Oval. Referee: Joel Jutge (France). Crowd: 33,000.


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