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Sunday, October 07, 2012

All Blacks remain unbeaten with strong win over Boks in Soweto

New Zealand finished the inaugural Rugby Championship with six wins out of six games as they put on a strong second half performance to crush the Springboks 32-16 in Soweto on Saturday. The home side had led 16-12 at halftime.

Soccer City (also know as the FNB Stadium or National Stadium) had over 80 000 fans on hand to witness Richie McCaw's 100th Test match win, which he has achieved in 112 Tests.

Bryan Habana continued his try-scoring form but it was the Springboks' only try, as the visitors ended with four in total, scored by Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Ma'a Nonu, and Conrad Smith.

The Springboks got the better of the collision game in the first half but when things got a bit loose, the All Blacks tore them apart with some typically clinical play, including 11 points from the boot of Dan Carter. The visitors effectively won the second half 20-0.

"At 16-12 we were in the game. They were forced to play from deep and we managed to put them under huge pressure," said Bok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"Just after half-time they scored from a turn-over, then Carter took over. They were superb to close out the game and we need to learn from that. They used their opportunities, we did not."

All Black captain McCaw, who was showing the bruises of battle after the game, said that his 100th Test win was hugely satisfying. "These test matches are brutal and you have to be on your game, and I was proud of the boys tonight."

Coach Meyer has praised McCaw, saying that he's never seen him play a bad game, and that his son is actually in awe of the great All Black skipper.

"My kid is a big Richie McCaw fan. After the match (at Loftus in 2006) he gave his boots to my son. That's the type of thing the public doesn't always see."

Posted at 8:46 am | 25 comments

Viewing 25 comments

Wilso October 07, 2012 3:16 pm

I'd love to think what our international posters think of Richie McCaw. We think he is God. These guys are playing some special rugby you must say. Visca Barça!

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stroudos October 07, 2012 7:49 pm

McCaw is absolutely awesome, there is no rational way to argue against that. It's almost unfair how good he is. So influential and so reliable.

Funny thing is though in this tournament I don't think he's been NZ's best back-row player, Kieran Read has, (and that's with McCaw playing his usual incredible best).

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FoXtroT October 07, 2012 4:13 pm

McCaw is good, but only because the refs let him get away with a lot of infringements at ruck time. I'm not at all saying that this caused us to loose the game nor am I saying the ref favoured NZ on the contrary I think he might of given us the rub of the green on most occasions. But the amount of times McCaw either did not roll away, played the ball on the ground or generally just got in the way and was not penalised was astonishing.

That being said the reason we lost was that we decided to play too much running rugby when we should of been slightly more conservative as well as the fact that we did not know how to tackle or organise a defensive line plus for some reason our kicking has become atrocious. We seriously need Monty back as kicking coach.

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Guy October 07, 2012 5:43 pm

Awesome display by the All Blacks. As soon as any other team is giving the impression that they are getting somewhere, the Kiwi's seem to put everything back in perspective.

Few things I noticed: McCaw getting his ankle stamped in the ruck before the kick that led to the first NZ try. Whitelock getting his face kicked. Not on purpose I think but it should not be legal to try to dislodge the ball with your feet.

@Wilso: McCaw redefined the way an openside flanker should play. He is years ahead of everyone. I definitely believe he is a once in a lifetime phenomenon, like Lomu. I know he lives part of his life on or over the edge of the law but I really don't give a crap. As a player he is monumental; add the human factor to that and I believe he is an incredible role model for young rugby players.

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FoXtroT October 07, 2012 6:04 pm

McCaw was getting stamped on because as usual he was not rolling away when he clearly could of moved his feet.

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Guy October 07, 2012 6:17 pm

Maybe you should take a closer look.

I know he annoys the hell out of almost all 50.6 million of you so I would be very surprised with any honest or objective assesment here.

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FoXtroT October 07, 2012 8:47 pm

I have taken a look at it a number of times, he is off to the side of the ruck but leaves his feet in it slowing the ball down.

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Hendogo October 07, 2012 6:47 pm

Glad for the All Blacks, but as a neutral kinda getting tired of the same team winning all the time. It's starts getting boring. Now it's not the All Blacks fault, the other teams need to step it up.

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ItalianRef October 07, 2012 7:32 pm

4.14 deliberate kick at whitelock's head. hopefully the CC will punish that. usless

and yes, McCaw does not roll away, enters laterally and dives. yet he gets away with it.

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FoXtroT October 07, 2012 8:48 pm

People will call me biased but I don't think it was Strauss's intention to hit Whitelock in the head. It seemed to me like he was try to make a desperate attempt to knock the ball from his hands.

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Ottawa Rugger October 07, 2012 9:09 pm

I thought it looked malicious when I saw it live, but seeing it again here I'm inclined to agree with Foxtrot. I think he was trying to hold it up or kick it out. Maybe it should get looked at, but after careful consideration I think they'll see it wasn't malicious.

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Eggman October 07, 2012 9:42 pm

I can't see anything malicious in it.. I think he was just frustrated that Whitelock got down the ball and he wanted to kick it away.. He also slightly caught him in the head.. Yet Whitelock didnt seem to care, so why should we?

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Benny October 08, 2012 8:30 pm

Wasn't malicious but you do see guys sometimes leading with the feet to try to kick the ball out. Is it legal? It's certainly dangerous

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ItalianRef October 09, 2012 7:43 am

Eggman, I often hear this kind of justification, but then we shouldn't punish a high tackle unless the player's neck is broken...? or the spear tackle?

Benny, malicious or not the Law clearly states

10.4 c) A player must not kick an opponent.

intention is irrelevant. he did deliberately extends his leg and hit the player in the head.

i may accept it was in the intent of dislodging the ball from Whitelock's hands but he is an international palyer and he should know better not to use his feet.

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Madjandle October 07, 2012 9:59 pm

After watching that first try again, the pass to Habana was a mile forward, passed from a meter behind the line and caught a couple meters in front. How that was missed I don't know...

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Eggman October 07, 2012 10:38 pm

Please go see the discussion on the South Africa vs. Australia page regarding what a forward pass actually is and why lines on the ground don't prove that it was forward...

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matt October 07, 2012 10:03 pm

Watching this as a neutral in the North I have to say this was the worst refereed game I have seen in years, I find it infuriating watching the amount of stuff teams, especially New Zealand, get away, 4 penalties in the first 10 minutes!? Show me another team that can do that and not even get a warning.

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Benny October 08, 2012 8:33 pm

Everyone complains when we don't get penalised. At one point the penalty count was 9-0 against us and now you're complaining we were penalised too much. If it makes you feel better, Dagg was carded for an infringement that happened second after an outrageous forward pass by Taute that the ref missed

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Isaac October 08, 2012 12:08 am

It's funny seeing people still moaning about McCaw after every game. They obviously dont know anything about being a flanker. He does what every flanker is supposed to do. He cops the elbows, shoulders to the face, the hits etc and carries on like nothing happened, so congrats to Richie on 100 wins from 112 tests. Great achievement.

The Boks got smoked every time the AB's got the ball. AB's defense in the 2nd half was unbreakable. It seemed like SA ran out of ideas after awhile and their one on one tackling was disappointing aswell. Even with Israel Dagg in the bin the boks didnt look like scoring. NZ are alot fitter than most of the other teams and i hear that the forwards were told to drop a couple kgs in training this year.

Also Rolland is a crap ref, he never plays advantage he just blows for the penalty straight away, loves the sound of his whistle.

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Guest October 08, 2012 7:46 am

Yes FoxRot you are extremely biased.

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Sydney Subby October 09, 2012 2:33 am

An openside flanker's (and indeed every player on a rugby field's) job is to play to the line that the ref will allow. Yes McCaw has made an artform of 'accidentally' falling on the wrong side of a tackle, but as long as the refs keep letting him do it, McCaw should, and will, continue to be the best openside flanker in the game, and possibly ever. I'm not at all suggesting that he isn't an incredible player outside of this, but the only other player who is starting to learn these tactics from Richie is David Pocock (who is crucified by the public for playing unfairly), who is arguably the second best openside flanker in the world.

On another note, does anyone else think that Steve Hansen could do with a touch more humility? There have been a couple of instances lately where I think he needs to pull his head in a bit. I won't comment on his coaching ability, but he has inherited an incredible playing group as they came off a World Cup title, and I think that he should be a bit more humble in victory and not have so many negative things to say about other teams. It takes the shine off the amazing feats that the All Blacks have accomplished over the last 12 months.

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ItalianRef October 09, 2012 8:02 am

Sidney, i couldn't agree more. play to the whistle lads

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