Stand-in Slade off to a very shaky start

NEW ZEALAND rolled over Canada in their World Cup encounter in Pool A in Wellington but the performance of Dan Carter’s replacement gave the All Blacks cause for concern.

Fly-half Colin Slade was drafted in by coach Graham Henry to replace record points-scorer Carter, who will miss the rest of the World Cup with a groin injury.

Slade’s opening-minute kick was charged down and from the breakdown Canada fly-half Ander Monro kicked a penalty to give his side a 3-0 lead.

But Slade set up Zac Guildford’s opening try with a long pass before adding the extras. Guildford finished the day with four tries of New Zealand’s total of 12 tries.

After the game All Blacks captain Andrew Hore faced up to the loss of Carter, saying: “You can’t lie about it, he’s going to be hard to replace as he’s a pretty special player.”

NEW ZEALAND: Woodcock, Hore, O Franks, Whitelock, A Williams, Kaino, Vito, Read, Cowan, Slade, Guildford, S. Williams, Smith, Dagg, Muliaina.

Replacements: B Franks for O Franks (56), Weepu for Read (51), Ellis for Cowan (62), Toeava for Dagg (47), Boric for Muliaina (51).

CANADA: Evans, Trainor, Van der Merwe, Smith, P Mackenzie, Monro, Fairhurst, Buydens, Riordan, Marshall, Sinclair, Cudmore, Kleeberger, O’Toole, Carpenter.

Replacements: Dala for Evans (64), White for Van der Merwe (30), Hirayama for Fairhurst (63), Tiedemann for Buydens (63), Hamilton for Riordan (47), Franklin for Marshall (52), Hotson for Cudmore (63).

Referee: Romain Poite (France).

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