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Two-time defending Rugby World Cup champion New Zealand sent an ominous warning to its 2019 title rivals with a 23-13 win over much-fancied South Africa in its tournament opener on Saturday.

The All Blacks went into the game at International Stadium Yokohama with some suggesting that their record of never having lost a pool-stage match in World Cup history could be ended by the Springboks, but two tries in a barnstorming three-minute first-half spell put New Zealand firmly in control.

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