Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Johan Goosen huge drop goal on debut


Tony Brown takes big hit from Pakalani


Meanwhile in New Zealand advert


Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win

Saturday, August 21, 2010

All Blacks snatch victory with late tries as they take the Tri Nations 2010

All Blacks snatch victory with late tries as they take the Tri Nations 2010

New Zealand clinched the Tri Nations title as they beat South Africa 29-22 in front of a capacity crowd at Soccer City in Johannesburg earlier today. Late tries from Richie McCaw and Israel Dagg proved the difference after a great encounter between the two old enemies.

It was Springbok captain John Smits 100th Test match appearance and in front of over 90 000 fans, the home side were looking on track to make it a special occasion as they were in the lead up until the 78th minute.

Morne Steyn had kicked 17 points and Schalk Burger scored a try as the Springboks were in command for most of the game, on track to pick up their first win of this years tournament.

The All Blacks played their free flowing game when possible though and created a huge amount of space out wide as lock Tom Donnelly provided the scoring pass for prop Tony Woodcock to canter over.

With two minutes left All Black captain Richie McCaw then crossed for a try in the corner that needed to be referred to the TMO. The sideline conversion was missed by Dan Carter, but shortly afterwards Maa Nonu broke the line and set replacement Israel Dagg away for the match winning try, sealing the Tri Nations title in the process.

"I really thought we had done enough. We worked hard and I really enjoyed the Test but the last minute," said a dejected Smit afterwards.

"At 22-all we wanted to get into a good field position so that Morn Steyn can have a go at a drop-goal, but we turned over possession, I missed a crucial tackle and it was game over.

"I cant think of anything worse than losing your 100th Test by missing a tackle at the death. Ill be disappointed for a very long time," he added.

Richie McCaw was thrilled with the win, saying he was incredibly proud of his team and that they did well to take the late opportunities, especially that last try.

"I'm happy we won but I feel sorry for John. For a guy like that, he probably deserved better but that's the way rugby goes. It's a cruel game," said McCaw.

Springbok coach Peter De Villiers congratulated the tournament winners.

"Well done to the All Blacks we saw last year what a great thing it is to win the Tri-Nations. They deserved it this year and played entertaining rugby. Its a huge disappointment for us the dressing room felt like a funeral afterwards," he said.

Posted at 8:08 pm | 94 comments

Viewing 94 comments

Rowan DeBues August 21, 2010 8:09 pm

Pleased to see that Peter De Villiers took it graciously, at least his comment shown here. I would have thought with the whole forward pass controversy starting to stir that he would comment negatively on that, so well done to him. Although I wonder how much that is his words or SA head honcho's forcing him to be gracious

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Anonymous August 21, 2010 8:36 pm

@ DeBeus - give Peter De Villiers a break. Even if he says the right thing these days punters like assume there must be some explanation for it?

You really can't take it away from these All Blacks. The are playing exceptional rugby at the moment and were able to come through for a win against an up Bok side playing well at home. The "peaking too early" hope is a thin one - hard to see them failing in 2011.

Sunstitution of Hougaard (who had a blinder) in the last 5 mins? WTF SA coaching???

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Anonymous August 21, 2010 9:04 pm

The difference today, as it has been for many teams: it takes 80 minutes to beat New Zealand. South Africa played great rugby for 75. That was the difference in the match. Well done to NZ, they never quit, a lot of this has to be chalked up to McCaw's leadership. Some other observations:

1 - Wow, Juan Smith, what a difference maker. He was all over the park today, really lifted the Springbok pack.

2 -- Hougaard played well, definitely the future post FDP

3 -- Israel Dagg, wow, this kid is gonna be something special one day. Is it possible NZ have the two best fullbacks in world rugby?

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w barnes August 21, 2010 9:16 pm

did you see how many blocking lines nigel owens ran today should of given him self a yellow card not surprised he got squashed all ways in the way

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w barnes August 21, 2010 9:20 pm

also great game of rugby for the neutral there is some smashed up body's tonight double ice baths for everyone i think

still cant wait till france spanks the all blacks in there own back yard though

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Anonymous August 21, 2010 9:20 pm

I continue to not see why Spies gets so much hype. I think it's largely NH press from the Lions tour. He looked awful on the away leg, and looked fairly average today. Read is by the standout No8 of this year.

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Rowan DeBues August 21, 2010 9:28 pm

To the anonymous, fair enough, he is human after all.

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Anonymous August 21, 2010 9:54 pm

anonymous comment regarding best full backs in the world.

I reckon the top 3.
muliaina, jane, dagg

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ALAIN August 21, 2010 10:02 pm

oh did Read play today? didnt see him on the field

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Anonymous August 21, 2010 10:14 pm

Read was not as effective today as he was in the first two SA-NZ clashes, but he at least matched Spies today and far outplayed him in the first two clashes. My point is simply that there is no player in world rugby today where there is a bigger gap between the hype and what he actually does when the whistle blows then Pierre Spies.

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felix August 21, 2010 10:16 pm

wow - above comments are a bit harsh on spies today... he's been a bit quieter in other games but thought he was strong in this match. he tackled well and made some big yards with ball in hand.
Read has made him look average overall though.
what a game and what a tournament for the ABs. the scrum totally dominated the boks which really kept them in it as they kept running straight into tackles in open play. carters goal kicking was poor - the forward pass should have been an irrelevance if he'd made all the kicks he should have.
matfield and smit ... i's time to go i'm afraid. bekker and liebenberg are better players.

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Resident Troll August 21, 2010 10:46 pm

LAUGHING MY F*****G ASS OFF....

Someone knocked the boks off their perch....or high horse!

Much Love!!! :)

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jpm August 21, 2010 11:00 pm

The people that hype Spies are talking about his athletic stats: speed, power, size, vertical, bench press etc....he is an athletic freak but not a great rugby player at this level. rugby is played on the field and not in the gym....

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Resident Troll August 21, 2010 11:10 pm

'jpm said...
rugby is played on the field and not in the gym....'

Never heard more true words....any of you guys tried to play rugby in a gym?! its ridiculous....i mean one broken mirror is 7 years bad luck....geez...we broke like 5 or 6? then got kicked out, not before knocking someone off the cycling machine and someone off a rowing machine as we were dragged out....

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Juggernauter August 21, 2010 11:25 pm

@ Resident Troll - spot on

Anyway, the All Blacks were great. It's good to see that rugby is going forward - Juan de Jongh, Francois Houggard, Israel Dagg - all great players.

Feel very, very sorry for John Smit, the guy's a top bloke and it's a shame he was left with a Black taste in his mouth...

And, for God's sake, Richie McCaw made the most stupid of penalties close to his in-goal and Nigel Owens was like "I'm sorry, Richie, the textbook says I have to penalize you, please forgive me". That guy's got a yellow card vest or something.


BTW, Juan Smith is a monster.

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 1:19 am

very unlucky for smit, great leadership and it has got to be tough to fight for 80 minutes and come away with a loss in near dead time. To get a bit off topic, did anyone notice the acoustics in the soccer city stadium to be amazing without vuvuzelas? i think the south african national anthem in that place was one of the best national anthems i've heard in years!

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 1:49 am

Lol, did Nonu lose a shoe in that break to set up Dagg's try?

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Les Bleus August 22, 2010 3:19 am

Yeah, would've been better to be able to hear the haka to test the acoustics, but you never get that chance in South Africa due to the rude supporters.

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2020 August 22, 2010 4:03 am

Well done to the All Blacks for a stellar game and the Springboks really brought a better performance this time.

A criticism though of the All Blacks, have they forgotten what side of the ruck they are supposed to be on? And have the refs forgotten as well?

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 5:49 am

Israel Dagg - my man

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goodNumber10 August 22, 2010 7:05 am

really didn't enjoy that game but the Tri-nations has been very entertaining this year.

The new offside at the ruck enforcement policy really played havoc with protecting the scrum half and the pace of the game.

And why is everyone screaming Israel Dagg's name, all he did was put the ball down? It was Nonu's break that won the game for the All Blacks - he was immense all afternoon, one opportunity and he took it.

Hougaard was excellent, hopefully this is the last few times we'll be seeing Januarie on an international rugby pitch, once FDP comes back these lads look 1 & 2 for SA.

Far better showing from SA and it shows what a difference an almost first choice line up makes to a team performance.

There is certainly no disgrace in SA losing like that.

Look forward to seeing all the tri-nations teams when they come to Europe this year, hope we can turn a couple of you over. :)

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 8:22 am

Was anyone else impressed with the SA commentators? Few decisions that should have gone their way and rather getting up in arms about it they simply say 'that's the way things go sometimes'. very fair, very impartial and I was impressed

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Benson August 22, 2010 8:47 am

@ Les Blues, it's now disrespectful for the crowd to make a noise during the Haka too? I didn't realise it should be a moment of silence. What an insulting, petty comment.

Fantastic game of rugby. Amazing occasion and SA came to the party and the new combinations worked out okay. It was a bit weird watching the Sharks play afterwards and seeing guys like the Beast, Bismarck Du Plessis etc playing there..

Hougaard looks great, and the reason people are saying Dagg is quality is not just because of that try, but because he's been finishing excellent for a while now. He looked dangerous at other times in the game too.

Someone who probably isn't getting enough recognition right now, imo, is Ma'a Nonu. Whenever he gets the ball in space he looks dangerous and either breaks the line or distributes perfectly. His game has really come on over the years.

@ Rowan, yes, that pass was miles forward and a pretty bad miss by Owens etc, but what can you do.

Deserved Tri Nations champs

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Hayes August 22, 2010 9:21 am

Is it just me or did it look like Nonu lost a boot when he made his final break away?

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 9:27 am

sharks wp highlights please

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 9:56 am

I don't see anyone beating the ab's in next years RWC .... oh maybe the french??

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:00 am

goodnumber10, if you ask any saffa im sure they will say any sa loss is a disgrace - that's the diffs between the nh an sh - they(sh) do not accept failure!!

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:02 am

Well done to the AB's for winning the 3n - from a dissapointed saffa. You guys were simply just better this year, next year we will be back!! Oh how we miss FDP!!

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:04 am

Really want to know how much Mccaw is paying the refs in this years 3n...

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Max August 22, 2010 10:09 am

What about Gio Aplon at fullback, he had a great game and forgot all about his missing 30cm haha great tackles and enthousiasme

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:30 am

well done AB's! unrelated but has anyone seen that marius pudanovski's playing rugby these days!

http://www.myconfinedspace.com/2009/02/07/mariusz-pudzianowski-playing-rugby/

RD any chance of some video footage?

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Lewis August 22, 2010 10:41 am

Phenomenal game of rugby, incredible physicality for the whole 80 minutes.

The boks have clearly been missing Juan Smith he has huge, made hits all over the park and carried a lot of ball. But it looked like he pushed Nigel Owens into his collision. Would love to see that clip again but assuming you guys saving it for your friday funnies?

I was also very impressed by alan rolland's call from the touchline that the boks first try was legit, he has to be one of the leading officials in the game and the fact that owens didnt even refer the decision upstairs shows the respect he commands.

And to whoever said Read was the top number 8 in the world, that's an outrageous claim, sergio parisse is far and above the leading number 8 in the world followed closely by the likes of Heaslip, Read, Harinorduquy and even Spies. I do agree spies hasn't lived up to the hype but have seen what he can do and expect him to perform better and better as he cements his place in the boks team.

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:45 am

Haha! the only reason all blacks won was because Nonu hadnt had his laces tied! feel more sorry for john smit, since he was the one who got the boot.

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 11:18 am

Agreed. Sergio Parisse is the best No.8 in the world.

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 11:41 am

SIMPLY GREAT!!! AND NOW THE 2011 CUP GOES TO? I HOPE THE ALL BLACKS WINS...

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Mike August 22, 2010 11:43 am

Read>Parisse.

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Resident Troll August 22, 2010 11:51 am

I do feel for John Smit really....i mean its one of those great performances, and its a performance he shouldnt really feel bad about, but the fact nonu's boot came off will always leave the 'what if' in our minds.

I mean personally, I think the AB's would not have won it if nonu's boot stayed on....

(There's a lesson kids...never lace up your boots!)

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 12:13 pm

RD can you put up the national anthems, the haka and J Smit running out on his 100th???...missed all that...

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 12:15 pm

Amazing game for the neutral..these two teams aren't no 1 and 2 in the world for no reason!! Great stuff, even though im not a bok or black supporter I love rugby and it is a dream of mine to see these two play each other live...maybe one day!!

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 12:17 pm

Dammit what is up with the boks this year. High time we get flankers who can ruck and a coach who can coach...not looking good for us at the mo... Well done AB's, good game for you!

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dezzy August 22, 2010 3:02 pm

Parisse > Read

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Xavier August 22, 2010 3:34 pm

Must agree with some comments here.

Read is one hell of an 8th man, but he is still young.


I have to believe the reason most guys don't rate harinordoquy or parisse higher than read is because the french and italian number 8s are not from one of the tri nations, but they are the leading men in their position.

Still, the Blackness is looking unstoppable. The best team in the world by far, with a style of play like no other. So agressive, yet so simple and perfect in the basics...


Cheers, RD

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 4:41 pm

Agreed. Read may not be the best No8 in the world, but he's definitely the form 8man of the 3N and is getting better every match.

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Dan August 22, 2010 5:07 pm

I must admitt I was jumping up and down all match; one for the ages for sure. Felt terrible for John Smit, as it was he who allowed the final break leading to the Dagg try at the death.

As for another matter, some European above me(I'm a Yank to put that out there) said Jamie 'knee-slip' Heaslip is the 2nd best N8 in the world. C'mon man really? You're going to pick a NH loosie as the best in the world??? In that line o'logic, i guess the NH number 7's are far and above the skills of Macaw or Brussow or Pocock *cough cough* get a clue mate

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 6:32 pm

@goodNumber 10

"There is certainly no disgrace in SA losing like that."

Gee, thanks.

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DH August 22, 2010 7:26 pm

@Dan,

It just happens that no.8 is one of those few positions where the 3N teams are relatively weak at the moment. I'd put Parisse, Harinordoquy, Heaslip and Fernandez Lobbe ahead of any of them, although Read is turning into a quality player.

I don't see how opensides or any other positions come into it, they're completely separate arguments. I agree that nobody comes close to McCaw (not macaw, that's a bird) at openside at the moment. I don't rate Brussow and Pocock needs to add a lot to his game, he's no George Smith just yet.

Blacks are scarily good at the minute by the way, and that's with a weak scrumhalf, no Sivivatu and average second rows. Very impressive.

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coast685 August 22, 2010 7:54 pm

Henry Tuilagi will stomp on spies and sergio at the same time..

Nonu is the reason why they won the match.. SAMOAN POWER ALL DAII!..

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Common Sense August 22, 2010 7:59 pm

So sick of people saying NZs 2nd rows are average. Brad Thorn has played for the two best rugby teams of any code in the world: The ABs and the Kangaroos. While we're at it lets add the crusaders and Queensland state of origin to that list. Just because he went away for a while (to league) does'nt mean you should forget what the man has accomplished.

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Resident Troll August 22, 2010 9:44 pm

@ Dan

'In that line o'logic, i guess the NH number 7's are far and above the skills of Macaw or Brussow or Pocock *cough cough* get a clue mate'

HAHAHAHAHAHA YOUR ARGUMENT DIED RIGHT WHEN RICHIE 'THE PARROT' MACAW WAS MENTIONED!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHAHA suprised you didnt mention 'Homo' Poocock in that argument aswell!!!

(no offence to mccaw and pocock intended!)

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Mike August 22, 2010 10:31 pm

Dan 'the American', one can make a very good argument as to why Heaslip is the best, second best or whatever N.8 in the world - he's certainly up there with the best. And your counter-argument is that he can't be due to the hemisphere he comes from? Talk about blinkered...

On the game, brilliant by the ABs again, and it's good to see the Boks looking more like themselves even if in defeat.

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Craig August 22, 2010 10:40 pm

Haha
Nonu was running with one boot when he made that final break :)

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Nicko August 22, 2010 10:50 pm

Nonu = Legend.

Great game to watch, I thought SA had the upper hand for 75 minutes.... And I really felt for John Smit, he's an awesome leader and probably deserved to come away with a win.

I'm pretty wrapped with how the boys bounced back after last year, 3-0 is a great achievement against a world champion team.

Well done boys!!

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Jamie August 22, 2010 10:52 pm

Where's Bokke_2007 gone??? :-)

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:54 pm

John Smit, also known as the human speed hump.

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 10:55 pm

ahah Woodcock, future n11

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Anonymous August 22, 2010 11:31 pm

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of nonu's shoe could they please contact their local police station.....
any chance of seeing a vid of that rugbydump!

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Anonymous August 23, 2010 12:42 am

I love how dirty Saffas compare that little fatty brussow to King McCaw.

Get a clue you idiots, you will never have a loose forward in the same league as Richie!

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Jono August 23, 2010 1:04 am

If you put Parrise in the All Blacks team he wouldn't seem so good.
He doesn't have the work rate of Read, and that's all important for a SH no 8.
He's a very good player, but not the best at all.
He hasn't proved himself against the top three teams. He usually plays no better than above average against the top players.
O'Conner made him look like a defensive marshmellow last year for example.

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Jono August 23, 2010 1:07 am

Palu and Read are the two best no 8s.
The SH teams are not weak at no 8, what a ridiculous thing to say.
Harindonquay, Heaslip and Parrise are all good players but Palu would monster any of them and Read has a better work rate than all of them, including Palu.

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Anonymous August 23, 2010 1:58 am

I'll admit when the AB coaches were glowing about Read's potential in 2008 I didn't see it, but now I do: just an immense workrate at No8 and a very underrated athlete. My guess is he will be the next AB Captain once McCaw is done.

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Nicko August 23, 2010 3:28 am

Dagg showed good pace to get away from Pieterson and receive the pass from Nonu. Pieterson has a stack of pace, good work Izzy!!

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wont someone beat th August 23, 2010 3:57 am

What a disappointment...

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John M August 23, 2010 4:04 am

Point is you have to regularly play the best to be acknowledged AS the best, and that includes the individuals as well.
SH teams are the power house of rugby at the moment, its as simple as that !!

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gearguy August 23, 2010 5:22 am

Anonymous said... Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Nonu's shoe?

It's in that box with the lost mouthguards.

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Anonymous August 23, 2010 5:51 am

I know SA has injury troubles, but let's not forget that NZ is doing all this with their best winger (Sivivatu) and their best lock (Ali Williams) unavailable.

Regarding the fullback debate, also don't forget Toeava is out. I know he's been a subject of debate, but his form was terrific in the Super 14 this year, playing primarily at fullback for the Blues. So NZ's options at fullback are: Muliana, Jane, Dagg, and Toeava. That is an obscene level of talent.

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AndyMo August 23, 2010 7:21 am

Nothing on the eye gouge on Schalk Burger?

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Benson August 23, 2010 8:31 am

AndyMo, you've got to be seriously one-eyed (excuse the pun) to believe that was really an eyegouge. Clutching at straws there.

We had a mix of a side (new combinations in every position) and we were beaten by an awesome group of All Blacks. At least we played well this time, unlike overseas.

The good news is that, as I said, this isn't close to the best 15, so it's not all bad.

On the fullback debate, I'd have Mils over Toeava most days of the week. I don't think Dagg can be anywhere close to being considered the best in the world yet! That's crazy talk. He is a lethal runner though.

Unlucky Smitty..

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Nick August 23, 2010 8:43 am

No, your right Parisse doesn't have the work rate of Read and he isn't consistantly Italy's best player. The way I see it if you can put an outstanding performance in with a team that is often on the back foot, that just highlights how good you are. Read should be looking good, he's in form and behind a forward moving scrum.

Agree with the comment a few above, when it comes to no.8's Henry Tuilagi is your man.

Good match today, nice to see SA getting back in the game, the depth of SA rugby is unbelievable, is that the 5th different second row they've used this 3N? Juan Smith had a blinder, couldn't understand why he came off. Hougaard was looking pretty good (although that dive deserved some ballet comments).

I think the second row comment has basically come from the fact that SA have had such dominant 2nd rows for so long, Thorn has really picked up his game though, Donnelly is looking good it will be interesting to see if there more to come. What happened to the AB who was playing 2nd row last year?

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Les Bleus August 23, 2010 8:58 am

Only the Europeans think the Tuilagi's are any good.

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Kabous August 23, 2010 8:59 am

COngrats to NZ. You deserve the Trinations. From the biggest SA fan ever...

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Les Bleus August 23, 2010 9:17 am

Boks loose forward ''depth''

Pierre Spies
Ryan Kankowski
Juan Smith
Schalk Burger
Francois Louw
Heinrich Brussouw
Danie Russouw
Dewald Potgieter

All Blacks loose forward depth

Kieran Read
Liam Messam
Richie Mccaw
Jerome Kaino
Victor Vito
Rodney So'ailo
Adam Thomson
Luke Braid
George Whitelock

I would say the depth is about the same, if not leaning more towards the All Blacks as they have younger players coming through. All Blacks have better depth, three of the best fullbacks in the world? Dagg, Mils, Jane, Robbie Robinson.

Flyhalf? Brett, Slade, Cruden and Carter.

Centres? Nonu, Smith, Mcalister, Stanley, Kahui, Fruean and soon to be SBW.

Wings? Ranger, Sivivatu, Rokocoko, Masaga, Gear, Wulf, Maitland, Guildford, Julian Savea.

Depth in South Africa? Nothing compared to New Zealand.

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Benson August 23, 2010 9:31 am

^ Les Blues making uninformed, one sided claims as usual

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Les Bleus August 23, 2010 9:36 am

Best way to judge depth? Youth sides. Who has won the last few U20's tournaments?

Call me bias, but facts are facts, All Blacks 3-0 this year, won the U20's tournament few years running and still have a lot of injuries.

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Benson August 23, 2010 10:00 am

Those players don't always make the step up though. Just look at England, who also have a powerful youth program.

Mate, your credibility went out the window when you named Dagg and Robbie Robertson as being on the list of the best fullbacks in the world?! What have they proved in Test rugby? Even Cory Jane, great winger but still very little mileage on the clock. Big calls.

And then:
Flyhalf? Brett, Slade, Cruden and Carter.
Which of those would actually make the step up successfully? None of them have proven they can yet.

At the end of the day, right now the NZ team isn't good because of that depth, they're good because they have a group of top quality players in the starting 22.

The fact that the Springboks put out a team with a new combination in every position - and were in control most of the game - shows that the depth in SA is pretty decent too..

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Disco August 23, 2010 10:28 am

Just to join the number 8 debate, I'd say that Imanol Harinordoquy was the best number 8 in the world last year based on form. He hasn't always been a brilliant player in my opinion but he is slowly emerging into being a true great at no.8.

I'm not sure the All Blacks have the intelligence to win the world cup. McCaw and Smith are clearly clever guys but they're lacking a wily scrum half in my opinion. Think Kirk, Farr-Jones, Gregan.

Something tells me this ABs side may be a little bit too cool for school and that counts a lot in a world cup semi-final against a side like France.

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secondfive August 23, 2010 10:40 am

@ Nick said... the depth of SA rugby is unbelievable, is that the 5th different second row they've used this 3N?

True depth is when you lose good players but still keep winning. What sort of depth is it when you lose four tests in a row? Give me a couple of dozen guys that keep winning and you're welcome to your "depth".

@Benson: I question that SA were ever "in control", they defended strongly, got a single bulldozing try and managed to stay in front on penalties. How flimsy that "control" was became obvious in the last 15 minutes when the ABs ran over the top of them.
Oh, and I think Carter has proven he can "step up" just fine.

A great test match, the best so far this year. But nothing happening right now tells us much about what'll happen next year, although the NH tests later this year will tell us if any 6N teams are even going to be in the hunt.

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Benson August 23, 2010 10:59 am

Um, depth is competing with the best team in the world and not being steamrolled despite switching things up with the first 15.

Re. the flyhalfs - Obviously I wasn't referring to Carter. I just quote the guy. Carter starts, that's a given.

And yes, South Africa were in control, right up until the 78th minute where a lapse in concentration (that means you JDV) let the AB's (the hottest team in world rugby right now) create space out wide. Last 15 minutes? Check the clock

IMO Morne Steyn stuffed things up with his two poor line kicks. The one was for touch and the other was a penalty that he overcooked. Big turning points. He's been average these last few matches

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Anonymous August 23, 2010 11:59 am

where was jacque fourie?

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Nick August 23, 2010 12:08 pm

Even the loose forwards argument is a bit shaky. All the SA guys you mentioned have played fairly recently and have played fairly well. Looking at the AB's list I can obly see 4 or 5 that have played this year. It's pretty much the same with most of the positions. Look at last year when Carter was out, he was rushed back as things were falling apart.

I'm not taking away from the fact that the AB's have a fantastic team and there is a number of real prospects coming through. It's just that SA have a huge number of positions where they can't replace one test proven player with another. Once you look at it match wise, a couple of poor matches on the road and a fairly even match against the inform team isn't really a collapse.

I think the next two tests should be interesting, Boks have got to be up for it vs the Aussies who've had a bit of form.

In regards to the autumn internationals, I wouldn't bother reading too much into them, they're about as useful as the summer ones in predicting form.

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NiWiTa August 23, 2010 12:22 pm

Good game although I only saw the first 20 minutes and then caught the highlights. What I don't get with SA (who are an awesome team) is why they don't run the ball more often through the backs?

It may be that this happened more in the second half but the only try came through the forwards...and yes I did see Habana's awesome counter-attack run in the fist half. In fact watching Habana in full flight made me realise what little opportunity he is given within the current set-up.

Fair play to the all Blacks and also to the SA commentators who seemed a lot more balanced than others in recent weeks..

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Andy August 23, 2010 4:42 pm

Comparing Brussouw & McCaw:

You cannot - McCaw has had a long career as being either the best or close to the best player in the world. He is a fantastic captain and continues to 'innovate' at the breakdown. He is the benchmark!

However, you can compare how they played against each other. And the only examples we have of this is when Brussouw played against McCaw in the 3N 2009.
Anyone who watched those games closely would have to conclude that McCaw was totally outplayed on all 3 occasions. Maybe McCaw had off games, or maybe Brussouw showed (in his young international career) that he has what it takes to overthrow the current (undisputed) king of fetchers.

Would love to here your thoughts...

Andy

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Anonymous August 23, 2010 5:39 pm

Re: flyhalf debate, I have serious doubts about Cruden at test level, but we'll see this week, won't we? If I were Graham Henry, I'd use Colin Slade as my backup to DC, just a much more complete player imo, and someone who has proved himself at SUper 14 level, which Cruden certainly hasn't.

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Les Bleus August 23, 2010 6:45 pm

Mate, your credibility went out the window when you named Dagg and Robbie Robertson as being on the list of the best fullbacks in the world?! What have they proved in Test rugby? Even Cory Jane, great winger but still very little mileage on the clock. Big calls.

And then:
Flyhalf? Brett, Slade, Cruden and Carter.
Which of those would actually make the step up successfully? None of them have proven they can yet.



Proven they can? Member the NZ Maori games? England? Ireland? Brett and Robbie Robinson did a lot in those games. Yes, based on form those are the four hottest fullbacks in world rugby at the moment. The depth being so good, someone like Colin Slade, has to move from the Crusaders because of the talent they have.

It is the perfect amount, the older players mixed with amazingly talented new players who will surely guide them to greater things.

The thing is, most of the amazing new players are backs, that is where most of New Zealands depth lies. I would say Australia has the most depth in the loosies, South Africa for the props and All Blacks for the locks (Brad Thorn, Ali Williams, Sam Whitelock, Jason Eaton, Donnelly, Chris Jack, Paterson).

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EARugbyFan August 23, 2010 6:45 pm

Just a note to those who say the AB "Peaking too Early" argument is invalid.

Look at the average age of the ABs and remember that they have to sustain this level of quality for a year.

A lot can happen between now and then. I want the ABs to win but the kiwi current overconfidence is laughable.

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mat August 23, 2010 8:46 pm

was it me or did nonu make that break with one boot.

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Smelly Bogan August 23, 2010 11:39 pm

There were a couple of All Black opportunities in the latter stages that many other weeks would have resulted in tries, i.e. Carter's and Jane's almost tries.

Add to that the fact that Carter missed a couple of penalties (possibly the influence of the ankle there too). With a better kicking rate the All Blacks wouldn't have been in the position they were with four minutes to go. Kickable penalties vs kickable penalties should have had the All Blacks ahead and holding the Japies out.

It seemed the Japies began to tire later in the game and the All Blacks began to break the line more. SA were scarily good on defence though, and the All Blacks were fortunate to escape their kicking woes with those two late tries. The Kiwis can't afford to take anything for granted come next year.

I see a future for John Smit in advertising fail-proof shoelaces.

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secondfive August 24, 2010 2:19 am

Benson said...
"Um, depth is competing with the best team in the world and not being steamrolled despite switching things up with the first 15".

I take your point but I stick by my comments.

"And yes, South Africa were in control, right up until the 78th minute where a lapse in concentration let the AB's create space out wide. Last 15 minutes? Check the clock."

it was a great defensive game by SA but the cracks started to appear well before the 78th minute. The ABs came very close to two earlier tries, and kicking mistakes and turnovers along with the ABs keeping the ball alive at every opportunity won the game.

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Anonymous August 24, 2010 5:03 am

on the topic of depth; if aus didnt have 2 other major football codes they would fuck everybody up haha

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goodNumber10 August 24, 2010 7:16 am

"goodnumber10, if you ask any saffa im sure they will say any sa loss is a disgrace - that's the diffs between the nh an sh - they(sh) do not accept failure!!"

*Sigh*

I love the way armchair fans in the Southern Hemisphere act as though their screaming and crying at the TV is as much a part of their rugby teams success as the players and coaches, and that THIS is the difference between the NH & SH.

It really really isn't.

"we don't accept failure"

No one is saying you should, what is being said is that from a neutrals point of view there is certainly no disgrace in losing in the last move of a game against the best side in the world right now, especially after having your ar*es served to you for the last 3-4 months.

I'm pretty certain if you ask any NH rugby fan they will not be happy if their team went down in a blaze of glory like South Africa just did, I know for certain if you ask any tier one nations players they will be nothing but gutted when losing a game.

Everyone wants to win but unfortunately it's not possible to have two winners in sport.

And sometimes you have to take comfort in the fact that you're nearly there and that time will bring your team onto the other side of those results.

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NiWiTa August 24, 2010 12:09 pm

Cheers goodnumber10......We all know watching SH games is exciting and there is a concentration of talent here....A wee bit of Hubris wouldn't go amiss though.

Personally I think SA are not playing the style of football the ABs are playing in terms of using their backs/keeping the ball alive and this is why they are losing despite bags of talent. Watching SA is like watching a much better version of England driving their success through defensive domination and the forwards...

As an England supporter I wonder why SA have not adapted their playing style to match the ABs after the first two tri-nations losses....Their back-line talent would give any team something to think about...

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Anonymous August 25, 2010 10:43 am

'on the topic of depth; if aus didnt have 2 other major football codes they would fuck everybody up haha'

Sounds like excuses. by that train of thought England and France would be better than everyone if football wasn't so popular, just due to there population.

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Anonymous August 25, 2010 10:43 am

'on the topic of depth; if aus didnt have 2 other major football codes they would fuck everybody up haha'

Sounds like excuses. by that train of thought England and France would be better than everyone if football wasn't so popular, just due to there population.

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bob August 25, 2010 2:43 pm

@goodnumber10,
If you look at the replay of the Dagg try again you may see that it was still even numbers after the nonu break. Dagg gassed around peterson I think (SA11) while still staying behind nonu but just head of peterson, belatedly trying to catch up, to receive nonus pass at pace. Then he still had 30or so meters to the line. If this doesnt convince you look at his first test try also against the boks this year. want more? he can bowl a cricket ball 140km/h plus.

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Laz August 25, 2010 3:10 pm

@ Bob, Dagg did what any top test winger around the world would be able to do - get in the right place, catch, and run. It really wasn't that amazing. All the credit goes to Nonu for an incredible pinpoint pass while running at pace, with one shoe on. Brilliant from him.

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