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Friday, July 31, 2009

Classic Encounter - Springboks vs All Blacks 2000

Classic Encounter - Springboks vs All Blacks 2000

A few weeks after the Test of the Century between the All Blacks and Australia, Ellis Park in Johannesburg played host to a match that was right up there with the best in terms of entertainment, action, and emotionally charged Test matches.

It was a thrilling encounter between the Springboks and the All Blacks which featured ten tries in total, with eight being scored before the break.

South Africa had been struggling, with coach Nick Mallet under fire following four successive defeats. The players were also under pressure, but they duly silenced their critics as they took the game to the mighty ABs and prevailed.

They ran them ragged scoring five tries in 30 minutes before New Zealand fought back to close the twenty point deficit, and even take the lead at 37-36 following a Andrew Mehrtens penalty.

Robbie Fleck, in for the injured De Wet Barry, was lethal on the day as he scored two tries and troubled the opposition midfield whenever he had ball in hand.

The brilliant Christian Cullen scored his sixth Tri Nations try of the year and his 40th Test try in total. He scored again later, as did Tana Umaga who looked threatening whenever he had ball in hand.

The Springboks withheld the late onslaught though with some superb defensive work. Late in the game they camped in the New Zealand half before scrumhalf Werner Swanepoel picked up his second try as they hung on for the memorable 46-40 win.

The video is down. We'll get it back up as soon as possible


Time: 05:26

Posted at 1:22 pm | 23 comments

Viewing 23 comments

BokBefok July 31, 2009 2:33 pm

Fleckie you legend!

Cullen was superb too.. and that step by Umage was insane.

Good memories. Cheers :)

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BokBefok July 31, 2009 2:34 pm

Umaga too..

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Ted July 31, 2009 2:54 pm

Wow, some all time legends sharing the pitch there and some fantastic tries.

Cullen - just amazing. I don't know what you blokes think but I think he's the best full-back I've ever seen. Other contenders?

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Jonathan July 31, 2009 3:00 pm

I know people like to tout games like this and the AUs v. NZ 2000 game as "games of the century"....but frankly the defense in both games is pretty poor.

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Madflyhalf July 31, 2009 3:05 pm

John Smit n. 16!!

Who was ABs' 21? He looks like Greg Somerville!

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Anonymous July 31, 2009 3:23 pm

i agree with you ted. but letham has got to be a contender

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Anonymous July 31, 2009 3:36 pm

Fleck seems to be twice as fast as everyone else on the pitch!!

Cullen - what a player and a decent bloke unlike Robbie Fleck who was a complete to$$er (no i didn't know him personal, he just came across as one).

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Ted July 31, 2009 4:37 pm

Yep, Latham as I think I've said elsewhere, is probably my favourite Australian player of the last twenty years. As an Englishman I always have a soft spot for Jason Robinson too, but neither was as good as Cullen - just incredible with the ball in hand.

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Anonymous July 31, 2009 4:37 pm

is there any game when the defense isn't poor jonathon?

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roddymac July 31, 2009 4:41 pm

jeez how quick is the bok no 7 krige umaga just managed to keep up! Great game cheers rd

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Anonymous July 31, 2009 4:44 pm

Apparently Robbie Fleck used to be a good player? my memories of him at Bath are distinctly average

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Shaft July 31, 2009 5:39 pm

Jonathan, name a classic match that didnt involve a few great tries?

9-3, with watertight defence, just doesnt do it for me.

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Jonathan July 31, 2009 5:55 pm

Shaft "a few" is 3......


I cam plenty of classic matches with 3 or less tries....

This game had about 12 tries....

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goodNumber10 July 31, 2009 7:34 pm

what a game

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Sander July 31, 2009 7:49 pm

I have to agree with Ted. If Cullen's not the best fullback (allround probably not) then he definately was the most exciting one ever.

Always trying to play positive rugby and such unbelievable running.

Looking back, there were scores of outstanding players on the pitch that day.

Probably the best period of rugby I can remember: so much willingnes to attack and have a go. Maybe some weaker defense (right after the World Cup) but there were some wonderful matches around that time!

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Sander July 31, 2009 7:50 pm

Best allround fullback? Probably has to be Matt Burke...

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caucau's no.1 fan July 31, 2009 8:34 pm

cullen is the most underrated player purely because his career went downhill at munster, alot of his brilliance was forgotten. robinson and latham are both great but for me cullen is the total package. two interesting things about this video, umaga actually side stepped and lomu wasnt featured once! lomu gets the credit for being one of the games greats but personally i think NZ's rock was cullen

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Abbyno7 July 31, 2009 11:20 pm

Cullen as an attacking force was unreal. Bit like an Andy Irvine or Serge Blanco in terms of pace and ability to break from the back. Not sure how good he was defensively especially compared to some other fullbacks i'm going to mention.

JPR Williams had everything. He probably wasn't as quick over hundred metres as Andy Irvine but he was a great defensive player, a good player to have in attack, good kick, solid under the high ball and he loved the biff.

Really rate Latham and he does remind me of JPR when you see the two of them alongside each other.

Robinson is one of the greats of the game. Also a genuinely good guy to go with it.

Matt Burke/Gavin Hastings. Both big, solid guys with siege gun boots. Great defenders. Offered something different as an attacking option with their sheer power on the burst.

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aussierugbyfan August 01, 2009 4:07 am

jonathon is an idiot

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FrankyH August 01, 2009 7:24 am

"Cullen is the most underrated player purely because his career went downhill at munster, alot of his brilliance was forgotten."

I totally disagree, simply because, for those not in the UK/Ireland, we didn't take any notice of what happened to him once he went there.
His career as a top all black was already over, so he would always be remembered for the good times, not for a short stint in Ireland to make some money.

His defence wasnt half bad either. He was one of the strongest guys in the team, famously bench pressing more than most of the forwards.

Anyway, legend, and if I could choose, he'd be up there with the top 3 fullbacks I'd want to play for my team.

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Anonymous August 01, 2009 9:54 am

what a game!!! but both sides defences were poor,
i love running rugby and there was plenty of it in that game with modern day games were like that!!

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Anonymous August 01, 2009 1:59 pm

why is it autralia vs nz teh game of the century?

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ybr August 04, 2009 10:04 am

that 6 for SA was involved in everything he was doing switches with the outhalf and everything

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