Following a rather unceremonious start that saw Springbok scrumhalf Faf De Klerk leave the field on a stretcher within one minute, the Boks rebounded to thoroughly dominate the first half of their Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks.
Starting up front, the Bok pack has pummelled the All Blacks at set piece time whilst their backline has looked more creative than they did in the full three test series against Wales.
Clearly deterred from going to the set piece, the All Blacks looked to keep the ball in field. Every scrum penalty seemingly went the way of the Boks whilst they also regurly attacked the All Blacks lineout.
Rugby Championship debutant Kurt-Lee Arendse has been the star of the show so far. Filling in for the world class Cheslin Kolbe, Arendse got the Boks on the scoreboard with the opening try with a great finish in the corner.
Centre Lukhanyo Am has shown just why he is considered to be one of the best numbers 13s in the game. Pulling the strings with some fantastic passes and clean line breaks, Am has caused the New Zealand defence no end of trouble.
Continuing the trend from their series loss to Ireland, the All Blacks have been uncharacteristically inaccurate.
Offering little in attack outside of a break from Beauden Barrett that started behind his own try line. The All Blacks struggled to spend any time in the Springbok half as the Barrett brothers had to continually kick for territory.
With forty minutes to go, despite being pushed around the All Blacks only trail by a score of 10 – 3.
⏸️HALF TIME! A breathless first half, we lead in Mbombela! A big second half is coming up!#StrongerTogether #StrongerForever #RSAvNZL #CastleRugbyChampionship pic.twitter.com/VWsleibz0u
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 6, 2022