All Blacks look to bounce back from opening loss vs. Namibia on TSN
New Zealand will be looking to bounce back from a loss in their 2023 Rugby World Cup opener as they take on Namibia in Toulouse on Friday.
The All Blacks suffered a 27-13 loss to hosts France in the opening match of the tournament last week, falling in a group round contest for the first time in tournament history.
On Friday, New Zealand has a chance to even their record and perhaps add a bonus point against the African side.
Ranked fourth in the world, New Zealand face 21st-ranked Namibia looking for a similar result to that which Italy (ranked 13th) got in their first game. Italy picked up a dominant 52-8 win over Namibia last week, picking up a bonus point by scoring more than three tries (seven) in the blowout.
The two teams also met at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Tokyo, with New Zealand rolling to a 71-9 win, but lock Namibian lock Johan Retief believes his team is better prepared this time around.
“I remember (2019), the whole team was stressed,” Retief said. “This time a lot of players have played already against them so it’s more comfortable, more relaxed.
"We know what we are going to face.”
Namibia is the lowest-ranked side in Group A, which also includes third-ranked France and 17th-ranked Uruguay. France picked up a 27-12 win over Uruguay on Thursday, failing again to secure a bonus point.
The Group A faceoff is the day's only game before action at the tournament picks up with triple-headers on both Saturday and Sunday.