2007 Rugby World Cup: New Zealand, Australia and England open with wins

Saturday, September 8, 2007

New Zealand, Australia and England started their 2007 Rugby World Cup campaigns today with victories over Italy, Japan and the United States respectively. Australia and tournament favorites New Zealand comprehensively defeated their opposition, while defending champions England produced a comparatively unimpressive display to overcome the American team.

September 8, 2007
13:45 (UTC+2)
New Zealand 76 – 14 Italy Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Try: R McCaw (2) 2', 7'
D Howlett (3) 12', 56', 59'
M Muliaina 15'
S Sivivatu (2) 18', 29'
C Jack 50'
J Collins (2) 68', 70'
Conv: D Carter (7) 3', 8', 14', 16', 19', 51', 58'
L McAlister (2) 69', 70'
Pen: D Carter 11'
Try: M Stanojevic 38'
Mirco Bergamasco 71'
Conv: D Bortolussi 39'
R de Marigny 72'

Tournament favourites New Zealand dominated their opening match against Italy. Richie McCaw opened the scoring after just 64 seconds and scored again in the seventh minutes. Tries from Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina and two from Sitiveni Sivivatu increased the All Black's imposing lead. Just before half time, Marko Stanojevic scored a try for Italy taking the score to 43-7.

After the interval New Zealand scored five more tries, two each from Howlett and Jerry Collins and one from Chris Jack, with All Blacks fly half Daniel Carter kicking seventeen points during the match. In the 71st minute, Mirco Bergamasco scored a consolation try for Italy.

September 8, 2007
15:45 (UTC+2)
Australia 91 – 3 Japan Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Referee: Alan Lewis
Try: N Sharpe 18'
R Elsom (3) 24', 31', 41'
A Ashley-Cooper 46'
C Latham (2) 53', 72'
B Barnes (2) 57', 75'
D Mitchell (2) 59', 66'
G Smith 62'
A Frier 80'
Conv: S Mortlock (7) 25', 42', 47', 54', 58', 60', 67'
M Giteau (3) 73', 77', 80'
Pen: S Mortlock (2) 10', 16'
Pen: K Ono 38'

Australia scored thirteen tries against Japan in their opening match. A try from Nathan Sharpe and a hat-trick from Rocky Elsom put the Wallabies ahead by 23-3 at half time. Australia overwhelmed Japan in the second half, scoring nine tries without reply. Chris Latham, Berrick Barnes and Drew Mitchell claimed two tries each, and Adam Ashley-Cooper, George Smith and Adam Frier completed Australia's victory.

Japan's only points came from a Kōsei Ono penalty just before half time, while Stirling Mortlock kicked 27 points for Australia.

September 8, 2007
18:00 (UTC+2)
England 28 – 10 United States Stade Félix Bollaert, Lens
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Try: J Robinson 35'
O Barkley 40'
T Rees 49'
Conv: O Barkley (2) 40', 50'
Pen: O Barkley (3) 7', 22', 31'
Try: M Moeakiola 74'
Conv: M Hercus 76'
Pen: M Hercus 9'

In contrast to the day's earlier matches, the England team overcame the United States by only eighteen points. After 31 minutes the score was 9-3 with all points coming from penalties. However Jason Robinson and Olly Barkley scored tries late in the first half for England, with the score 21-3 at half time. Nine minutes after the interval Tom Rees scored England's third try, but they were not able to score again. Matekitonga Moeakiola scored for the Americans in the 74th minute.

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