Two tries alike from Israel Dagg and Richard Kahui gave the All Blacks a comprehensive 29-3 half time score. The expected second half onslaught however never happened and until Ma'a Nonu's late try it was Tonga in fact who lead the second half score line.
After failures at both the 2003 and 2007 World Cup the pressure is on the host nation to put right the wrongs of the two prior tournaments, and with they key group game against the side that defeated them so memorably in 2007 France, there are bigger games to come.
Carter's lovely hand off saw Sonny Bill Williams burst through the Tongaian defense, and with men over, a try was inevitable for the All Blacks, and the World Cup debutant Dagg touched down with ease for the first try of the Rugby World Cup.
Beautiful handling from Sonny Williams set Isaia Toeava away who released Kahui, who was left with the simple task of touching down for the second try of the match.
Dagg again touched down not long after, to ensure New Zealand romped into an early 22-0 lead. The try was created by a typically strong Nonu run with the ball down the Tongan right and Williams's superb offload to Dagg gave the All Black the third try.Kahui's superb one handed catch from Dagg created a solo try for the New Zealander. After collecting the ball Kahui's strength and pace was too much Vungakoto Lilo, and once the full back was dispatched of, a simple touch down gave New Zealand their fourth try.On the stroke of half time Tonga got their first points on the board as Kurt Morath's well struck penalty meant the first half score was 29-3.
The second half took 10 minutes to get going, as New Zealand were slow coming out of the traps, however their first attack of the half was brilliantly reppelled by Tonga who showed superb last ditch defending which had eluded them in the first half.
It took New Zealand 18 minutes to get the break through in the second half after Jerome Kaino touched down. The work for the try was all done by Kahui who did superbly to collect his own kick forward before offloading superbly to Kaino who had the simplest of tasks to score the All Blacks fifth try.
A Tonga spell in the New Zealand 22, clearly frustrated the home support, and Tonga got the try their second half performance deserved. Alisona Taumalolo, the second half replacements, scored after New Zealand failed to stop the Tonga pressure.
Tonga's second half lead didn't last long though as Ma'a Nonu scored his first try of the match after an incisive break from New Zealand lead superbly by the try scorer.
The result was never in doubt however New Zealand's second half showing cleared frustrated an agitated looking Graham Henry.
New Zealand's victory kept their unbelievable run of winning every Rugby group game, stretching the run to 23 games. And with their next group A game against Japan, the chance of them extending their run is surely inevitable.
Despite the incredible stat, New Zealand players and fans alike would rather they saved their victories for the later stages of the competition, and finally live up to their tag of favourites for the first time since 1987.
|Kahui touching down for the first of his two tries|