Graham Henry was in his 100th match as the coach of New Zealand in the Pool’s last encounter which was scheduled against Canada. `Henry used it to show he was still running the reins at the All Blacks domain by defeating Canada by 79-15.
Although Dan Carter has been ruled out of the tournament with a torn groin muscle, new fly half, Colin Slade and Piri Weepu stepped in to replace him. Slade played for 51 minutes and then was replaced by Weepu. Both players handed in an impressive performance.
Henry was all praise for the youngster, Slade and Weepu, however he chose Slade as the temporary replacement for Carter. “Colin Slade's the boy,” stated Henry. “He just needs more football. We see Colin as the guy to play and we're just going to have to take him and see how he's performing out there and get him through.”
Zac Guildford was another debutant at the 2011 Rugby World Cup however his form seemed past his years. He had 4 of the 12 tries New Zealand scored in the match and was heavily linked up in the plays. On him Henry said, “He played well which was particularly pleasing. He set very good standards over the last four weeks.” Henry also stated that Guildford might feature in quarter-final with Argentina, “He is a natural candidate for next week.”
Prior to the opening of the match Henry informed that he his team had been working on preventing scrum collapses. His tactics worked like clockwork as none collapsed, Canada on the other hand were pushed over 4 times.
Canada drew first blood six minutes in to the match. The try erupted an intense battle however by the end of the half New Zealand were leading the proceedings by 37-8. Canadian wing Conor Trainor provided some consolation with his tries on either side of the half but the relentless All Blacks’ offence spearheaded through the Canadian defense as if butter.
Rain broke into the 2nd half making the plays more difficult to make. New Zealand started having ball bearing problems which allowed Canada a couple of unsuccessful tries. At the end of the day New Zealand had 14 handling errors in comparison to Canada’s 10 which was surprising given the scoreboard showed 79-15 in favor of the All Blacks.