Saturday, September 12, 2009
The Springboks are the 2009 Tri Nations champions after beating the All Blacks 32-29 in a dramatic match in Hamilton.
The Boks withstood a late comeback from the home side, who frantically threw everything into it as they looked to sneak the win after coming back into the match excellently.
Needing only a bonus point to insure tournament victory, the Springboks went into the match confident and did the job in the end by winning. Three long range penalties from Francois Steyn, a penalty, dropgoal and conversion from namesake Morne, and tries by Fourie du Preez and Jean De Villiers, meant the Boks would come home with the silverware despite a tense last 15 minutes of All Black pressure.
"We said to the guys at half-time that the All Blacks are an 80-minute team and that proved true," Smit said. "But I was so pleased with the character we showed.
"We did the hard yards in the first 40 and wanted to stay on top. The All Blacks came out firing and we needed to up the intensity. We didnt manage that completely but did enough in the end.
"Ive waited for a long time for a win in New Zealand, this is my first. So personally its satisfying, but more so for the team."
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was pleased with another historic win for his side.
"Its huge. Were on top of the world," De Villiers said. "To beat New Zealand in New Zealand is a huge honour. We had to work hard to keep them out and we did so."