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All Blacks punish scrappy Springboks

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New Zealand has all but ended South Africa’s hopes for winning this years Tri-Nations series, while putting themselves in a very good position to take the crown. The 19-0 win puts the All Blacks at 14 points on the ladder, 5 clear of Australia, but with the Wallabies in a good spot to gain at least 2 points from the next two encounters with the Springboks in South Africa, a series decider between the All Blacks and Wallabies in the final match of the tournament in Brisbane next month is looking very likely.

The match itself on Saturday night was a very physical contest and the final score was perhaps a little unlucky for the South Africans who were held scoreless for the first time ate home in Tri-Nations history. New Zealand were the worthy winners of the match but they had to overcome a Springbok team who threw everything they could at the New Zealand try-line but continually came up short. The first half saw South Africa as the more attacking of the two teams but they could just not get through an impenetrable All Black defense and were plagued by simple errors.

The men from the republic would play very well into the New Zealand 22 but when it came time to score, knock-ons, forward passes and turnovers at the breakdown, often forced by the opposition’s determined defense, kept them scoreless. The All Blacks on the other hand had no issues with turning their attack into points and although they spent less time at the South African end of the field in the first half, came up with the first try of the game after seven minutes. It remained tight for the rest of the half, being 5-0 at the break, and it looked to shape up as a very tight tussle between the two rugby giants.

The All Blacks came out of the sheds looking to build on the platform they set up in the first half. They continued to disrupt the Springboks and the home team’s frustration was evident in the amount of mistakes they made, simple errors and bad choices of play. New Zealand then stepped up their attack with two converted tries in the middle of the half that pushed the lead out to 19-0, and by then the game was over with South Africa unable to overcome their lack of composure. 

Much of the game came down to the action at the breakdown and that man, All Black captain, Richie McCaw. His ability to turnover the ball at the right time continually denied the Springboks the momentum to build towards a try. The new ELV’s show how important maintaining possession is as you get closer to the trylines and with Richie McCaw leading the way the All Blacks are very aware of this and know how to swing things their way. South Africa will be wondering how they could score 63 points (against Argentina) one week and then be kept scoreless the next. It was a tough match but in the indeed New Zealand were the only team who knew how to finish off their attack with the ball over the try-line.

 

Final Score:

All Blacks 19 (Conrad Smith, Dan Carter, Keven Mealamu – tries; Dan Carter – 2 conversions)

Springboks 0 (Nothing – *sigh*)

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Written by Dale Weber

Monday, 18 August, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Posted in Rugby

Tagged with , ,

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