Monday Sep 15, 2014 Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test

Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test
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The All Blacks proved too composed yet again as they maintained their impeccable home record with a hard-fought 14-10 victory over the Springboks in Wellington. It was a low scoring, tough Test match but still managed to provide two outstanding tries.

It was another epic battle between the two sides, with the visitors coming close in the dying minutes after surge after surge at the line, but the home side’s composure and incredible defence managed to hold them out and eventually get the ball into touch with time up.

Earlier in the match the Springboks had scored first through a lovely backline move off a lineout, with winger Cornal Hendricks flying through a gap that young Handre Pollard drew open.

South Africa went into the half with the lead but later it was the turn of that superhuman number eight, Kieran Read, to produce another unbelievable offload, putting skipper McCaw in at the corner.

With the win, New Zealand have extended their lead at the top of the IRB World Rankings. A fifteen point or more win for the visitors would have taken them to number one, but as it is, the World Champions have a commanding five point lead, with Australia in third place. 

It wasn’t to be a fairytale 100th Test match for Springbok captain Jean de Villiers, but some consolation may be the way that McCaw and the New Zealand Rugby Union honoured him post match with an official capping process and sincere words from the All Black captain.

It was a lovely moment and one that only serves to strengthen the bond that these two old foes have, and serves to solidify the age old rugby mantra of respect, both on and off the field. 

On the injury front, Ruan Pienaar will play no further part in the tournament after damaging his medial cruciate ligament, and for the All Blacks, Ma’a Nonu left the field with what has turned out to be a broken arm. He’ll be out for the rest of the season.

16 Comments

  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    It's nothing new though, either for France or nearly any other country, and in pretty much every sport these days too. Re. Armitage, that will be a very bitter pill for England fans to swallow, but for my money, this is self-inflicted. Everyone knows why the RFU has their rules, but it's extremely difficult to understand how Armitage did not get a look in on the "exceptional circumstances" allowance. Playing as a specialist fetcher and voted player of the year in the Top 14? In this situation, if Armitage couldn't get called into the England squad, the message seems to be that no-one playing in the Top 14 ever will.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    Totally agreed on Hougaard. Perhaps a good bench option as more of a utility player.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    What I find funny is that people have attributed France's poor international run on the influx of foreign players into their domestic league. Now the opposite is almost happening as the supposedly foreign players are on the verge of playing in the French national setup. I don't think words could describe my feelings if I ever saw Steffon Armitage in a French jersey.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I think Hougaard is a wing who does a decent job filling in at scrum-half, it seems to me though that several of the specialist skills of the srummie don't come completely naturally to him. I do like him on the wing though, and he's a seriously good broken-field runner. All of this stuff about Bok srumhalf is however a bit academic, Fourie du Preez is the first choice, Ruan Pienaar is his back-up, and even without Kockott available, there are enough decent 9s around to fill-in while the first choices are out. Cobus Reinach looks like he'll get a shot soon, I'd like to see Sarel Pretorius get a chance, but basically they're all just keeping Fourie du Preez's seat warm.

    Reply
  •  jeri
    jeri

    Very close game. Can't help feel that if it was a Boks home game, they may have been the better of the night

    Reply
  •  foxtrot
    foxtrot

    It looks like we have lost Kockett. He was included in France's extended training squad.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    I have mixed views on Hougaard. He seems to have every attribute to be a good scrum half, but somehow isn't. It might be time for South Africa to cap Kockott before Saint-Andre gets there first.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    To be fair, the NZ lock combination might not have been first choice, but Brody Retallic very much is. And he was huge on Saturday. Probably my man of the match. Regarding the form of Bismark and Willie - they're both too good to not shape up again. And when they do... Remember, at some stage we could have Willem Alberts, Fourie du Preez and Pieter-Steph du Toit back in the team. Plus we might even find a decent tighthead prop one day. Then we'll be unstoppable :)

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    This tournament is done, but I guess this loss didn't hurt quite as much because I'm feeling ok about the bigger picture. But agree they could do with a couple of home wins against Australia and New Zealand. That bit of extra confidence might be what they need to push them to the next level, where they can mix up their game plans. The big difference for me is that unlike many previous years, I think they have the players and the combinations to do that.

    Reply
  •  i_bleed_green_and_gold
    i_bleed_green_and_gold

    No one is sh*ting on le Roux, he had a bad game. no problem... just love it when he shines.... and against the AB's too.. he had a great try saving race against aaron smith that shows his class even during a bad day at the office. Not sure I agree with your assessment of the other players though. Whitley did not do bad at all when he came on: 1) he is quick, tackles and tracks down well and is playing out of position. Granted he cant do what Flo can do but is very handy to have on the park when the rest of the team is exhausted. Nayakane has no endurance but we are short in the prop department in general at the moment so there may not be a short term solution... TBh i do not see a long term one coming up the ranks either. Matfield's great strengths is being the invisible giant. what his presence brings is calmness and structure to the team. he draws almost all the attention in the line out which opens up other options.. I did not see him miss any tackles, drop any balls or make any errors. He was pinged for not rolling away which was a bit harsh given that the commentators all agreed that there was no where for him to role. Although he is old he still is one of the top # 5's in the world. I do agree that pienaar's injury could be a blessing in disguise but I dont think it will come from hougaard. He gets to the break down quicker but does not fit the box kick game plan perfected by his mentor (Du Preeze.) Hougaard gets charged down quite a bit due to his slow and predictable kicking from the base of the ruck... maybe reinach could shine... He is a bit impulsive but that is what you want from a scrummie.... That is what Hougaard used to be when he came on the scene. Bissie I have already discussed earlier.. maybe these 2 weeks off will do him some good... there are some positives with the younger players... Pollard, serfontein etc. if etzabeth can control his temper he will do very well. Time will tell, cheers.

    Reply
  •  i_bleed_green_and_gold
    i_bleed_green_and_gold

    I agree that Bissie is "doed moeg" but that should not affect his accuracy at the line out should it?- He is a professional who only played 30 min the week before. Just have to throw the ball in, the jumpers were doing great up until then. those errors gave away crucial field position. He definitely needed the rest but we must remember that both teams have had a long year. Crusaders players went a week longer in the super 15 and they played against a strong England team in June whereas We played Scotland and wales. Duane had a cracker of a game and has been playing top level rugby all year. Granted he did not play 2 playoff rugby games but he does not show the same fatigue. we should not be striving to get close to NZ but beat them. we just dont have that mental edge... They fielded a 3rd string lock combination, 3rd choice # 6 , and had a make shift backline for the second half. we exploited the lineout weakness early on but still kick away the ball. It seems like we spend the whole week practicing our game plan and don't practice any contingency plans. We will see how the next few weeks go... Really rooting for an argie win to keep the tournament intersting.. need to pick up some bonus points too. Does not look promising. But One can hope :0

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    Agreed. Garces was superb.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Wrt Bismarck - I think the main issue with him is fatigue. The Sharks pre-season was of crazy intensity and realistically guys like Bismarck have had no down-time all year. I don't think it's any coincidence that despite being the best SA Super15 side, the Sharks don't have many in the Bok match squad, and those that are playing (in the front row) are struggling. Marcel Coetzee is the exception, but he missed some of the earlier Bok games so is a bit fresher. Always frustrating to lose such tight match, but I think there were enough positives getting so close in NZ, and hopefully they finish the season strong with the two home games.

    Reply
  •  bokskick
    bokskick

    It's disappointing to come so close and not pull it off. I don't like to celebrate injuries but if I'm honest, Pienaar's injury may be a good thing. Hougaard is more threatening with ball in hand and consistently delivers better/quicker ball. The pack also needs a shake up. Nyakane and van der Merwe should start in place of du Plessis and Beast who were basically non-factors over the weekend. Matfield too was invisible - which given his size is no mean feat. Get Lood in to start for him. I know a lot of people are sh*tting on Willie le Roux, but he just had a bad day at the office. He has too much quality to not bounce back in a big way for the next test. For what it's worth I would drop Bismarck and Whiteley altogether...

    Reply
  •  i_bleed_green_and_gold
    i_bleed_green_and_gold

    Read is a magician I think. pretty good. gets away with some stuff... lol. they were showing some highlights of his offloading in the tackle and he manages to get the off load away and tackle the supporting player in one move. was a shame le roux was off song a bit and we did not run the ball through the backs more. we just dont take our opportunities. All blacks scored only try when 2 players where injured and had penalty advantage.. that is killer instinct. Nonu plays 10 min with a broken arm and we never run at him once in that stage. Also, We have great lineout and then Bismark comes on and we loose the next 4 lineouts... He has really lost form recently. That Hendrix has proven to be a master stroke gamble by coaching staff. missed one open field tackle on savea and a high ball but has some serious talent and pace. Ben smith is also a class act, takes an army to tackle him. so elusive. Great game, disappointing about the end result... again.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Tough old test match, a good one for the purists! NZ probably deserved to shade it, but a huge plus for SA with how Handre Pollard played. Can't wait to see how he fares playing outside Fourie du Preez. And would also say, after last week's referee nonsense, well done to Jerome Garces.

    Reply

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Cornal Hendricks and Richie McCaw tries from great All Blacks vs Springboks Test | RugbyDump