Saturday, July 25, 2009
South Africa got their 2009 Tri Nations campaign off to a good start as they held of a second half New Zealand comeback to win the match 28-19 in Bloemfontein.
The Springboks dominated the majority of the first half, and despite a few missed kicks at goal, went into halftime 14-3 up after two penalties from Francois Steyn, one from Ruan Pienaar, and a neatly taken try by the Bok number ten.
Pienaar, who looked to have taken a heavy knock fairly early on, didnt return in the second half, and was replaced by Morne Steyn, the hero of the epic second test in the British & Irish Lions series recently.
New Zealand came out looking like a different side in the second half, as they were far more organised and strung some phases together, culminating in an excellently taken try by centre Conrad Smith.
Stephen Donald was on form with the boot, but so was Morne Steyn, who kicked three penalties of his own, further extending the Springbok lead.
A late try from Jaque Fourie after pressure from Pierre Spies, took the stuffing out of the All Black comeback.
A penalty by Donald with five minutes left gave them hope, but it was replacement flyhalf Steyn who sealed the win for the home side with a late penalty from the half way line, denying the visitors the losing bonus point they were looking for.
The same two sides meet again next weekend, in Durban, for what should be another classic Test match between these old foes.