Springboks make a point but All Blacks get the winning point

The Springboks won back respect at Newlands against the World Champions and Rugby Championship winners but it was the latter who emerged victorious for the sixth successive time against South Africa.

The New Zealanders won 25-24 after leading 8-3 at halftime.

The Springboks defeat, coupled with the Wallabies 37-20 win against the Pumas in Argentina, meant the Springboks finished the Rugby Championship third from four.

The All Blacks were comfortable winners, with the Wallabies second. Argentina did not win a match in their six outings.

The All Blacks win at Newlands was also their fifth win in their last six Tests in South Africa. They also finished the Rugby Championship unbeaten in six matches.

The Springboks tournament ended with two wins against the Pumas, two draws against Australia and the two defeats against the All Blacks.

The New Zealanders won 25-24 after leading 8-3 at halftime.

The Springboks scored a converted try with two minutes remaining to make it a one point game but despite having possession from the kick-off the Boks couldn’t fashion a dramatic last minute score.

Both teams scored three tries and there was very little to separate the teams on the day.

South Africa showed the necessary desperation and commitment and also played with greater balance in approach than was the case against the Wallabies in Bloemfontein.

They were also very good defensively and at the breakdown. They also controlled the possession and field position for extended periods in the game.

The All Blacks scored two tries through a charge down and an intercept but the critical score in the 68th minute was down to the attacking brilliance of fullback Damian McKenzie, who was voted man of the match.

McKenzie was a constant threat on attack, but his teammates weren’t quite as convincing on a day when too many passes went to ground.

The Springboks contributed to New Zealand’s indifferent display with suffocating defence and a defensive effort in which there was no compromise for the duration of a match in which the first half lasted 50 minutes.

Collectively there was much to applaud and admire about the Springboks in their final home match of the season, but somehow the world champions still got over the line. Very good teams find a way to win and New Zealand again did this at Newlands.

Springboks captain Eben Etzebeth and hooker Malcolm Marx were imposing and impressive and Steven Kitshoff was equally present in every facet of play. Handre Pollard, when replacing Elton Jantjies finally showed glimpses of the player who starred on debut three years ago and Jean-Luc du Preez also made a big contribution.

Scorers

South Africa 24 (3)

Tries: Ross Cronje, Jean-Luc du Preez, Malcom Marx

Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2), Handre Pollard

Penalty: Jantjies

New Zealand 25 (8)

Tries: Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie

Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (2)

Penalty: Beauden Barrett, Sopoaga

 

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  • Hamburger

    The Springboks lose at home to the All Blacks, but our standards and expectations have sunk so low that everybody celebrates as if we won the Super Bowl. Mediocre now gets one a slap on the back because they played with heart and courage. Oh please – bring back the days where a loss at home was simply unacceptable.