RWC: Wales crush weary Namibians

Wales routed a weary Namibia 81-7 in New Plymouth as they stormed to second place in Pool D tonight. The Africans fought back from a fiery Welsh start to but faded badly once again as Wales piled on nine of their twelve tries in the second period to record their largest ever win at a World Cup. A tight schedule may be to blame for increasingly fatigued Namibian performances, but Wales threatened a whitewash straight from kickoff before a powerful showing from the Welsh bench ensured the Namibians were denied a respectable end to their World Cup adventure.

Wales started brightly with an early penalty to Stephen Jones, before bright work by Leigh Halfpenny resulted in a try to debutant centre Scott Williams in the corner inside the opening ten minutes. Simple errors preventing Namibia from gaining a foothold in the game before two more Welsh tries in quick succession threatened to turn the game into a rout in just the opening quarter of the game. Aled Brew found himself the beneficiary of a neat offload by Jones which sent the centre clean through to score under the posts; Jones slotted his first conversion of the night before quick thinking by Ryan Jones sent No. 8 Toby Faletau crashing over the line as Wales went 22-0 up before Namibia could catch a breath. The early Welsh onslaught faded however as they lost structure and focus for the scoreless remainder of an ultimately scrappy half.

The second half started with a bang; Scott Williams claimed his second try of the night to claim a bonus point early on before rampaging British Lions prop Genthin Jenkins bustled his way to the line to stretch the lead to 36 unanswered points. Namibia then surprised even themselves as an outstanding long range run from big lock Nico Esterhuyse outfoxed the Welsh covering defence to the delight of the crowd. A yellow card quickly stopped any further Namibian ventures however; Wales deployed a raft of substitutions to take advantage of the tiring minnows with great effect. George North threw down his challenge for the right wing spot with two well-finished tries off the bench to cap off a cameo that featured several barnstorming runs, although an intelligent display by rival Leigh Halfpenny will give Warren Gatland a tough call to make. Williams capped off his debut with well-taken third as substitute halfback Lloyd Williams, regulars Lee Byrne and Jonathon Davies and veteran Alun Wyn Jones all crossed in the final twenty minutes to post a record 81-7 win.