22 October 2022
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak equaled the record for most tries in a single World Cup match by a Kiwi, crossing four times in New Zealand’s 68-6 victory over Jamaica in Hull.
The veteran Warriors winger scored four tries – with the first three coming inside the opening 20 minutes of the match – and set up another two with clever kicks back in field, before leaving the field with cramp in the 62nd minute.
The haul equaled Manu Vatuvei’s effort against England at the 2008 edition of the tournament.
While they were outclassed on the day by the world No.1 Kiwis, Jamaica excited with an adventurous style of play and scored their first ever World Cup try through national team stalwart Ben Jones-Bishop.
New Zealand scored seven first-half tries, but led by the relatively modest margin of 34-0 at the break due to Kieran Foran converting only three attempts, as the veteran half struggled with the responsibility handed to him with Jordan Rapana (not selected) and Dylan Brown (illness) out of the squad.
Of main concern for the Kiwis will be prop Moses Leota (leg) and utility Marata Niukore (chest) failing to play the second half.
“I am real pleased how the players went about what they did. From our last game to this one I thought our cohesion was better, but we also know we can get better again.” – New Zealand coach Michael Maguire.
Ahead of the quarter-finals the Kiwis take on Ireland in Leeds, while Jamaica conclude their maiden World Cup campaign against Lebanon.