New Zealand set stall out for Rugby World Cup after key win over South Africa
There can only be one winner of the rugby World Cup. New Zealand, 11/8 with Coral to win the tournament, were majestic as they swept aside South Africa 27-20 and it definitely shows they are building up momentum.
What this result showed at Ellis Park, is not only do they have attacking awesomeness, but resounding resilience. To a man and more in the second half, they withstood a South African barrage for more than 15 minutes, even losing Sam Whitelock to the sin-bin.
They held firm, and what followed was a striking example of the All Blacks ruthlessness. Richie McCaw on his final appearance on South African soil, scampered through the opposition lines with a tenacious determination having collected coolly from a lineout.
Credit though must go to the Springboks who were worthy adversaries and with odds of 4/1 themselves to win the rugby World Cup as third favourites behind England (7/2) are definitely capable of reaching the final.
It was a testament to centre pairing Jesse Kriel and Damian De Allende who, with just five caps between them, out-played, out-muscled and out-thought the seasoned All Blacks duo of Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith, rugby union’s most capped centre pairing at international level.
From the off, South Africa were trying to play catch-up; their ferocity no match for New Zealand’s majestic, free-flowing rugby, with everyone equipped to perfection, for launching attacks from anywhere on the field. Their hosts just couldn’t get near them.
However, as the visitors’ tempo finally slowed, the home side finally began to get a stranglehold on the game, with it being a case of you score, we score.
From this evidence, New Zealand are definitely worthy favourites for the rugby world cup and could well win at a canter.
South Africa: W le Roux (P Lambie 62); JP Pietersen, J Kriel, D de Allende, B Habana; H Pollard, R Pienaar (C Reinach, 71); T Mtawarria (A Strauss, 69), B du Plessis, J Du Plessis (V Koch, 41 (T Nyakane, 61)), E Etzebeth, L de Jager (F van der Merwe, 59), H Brussow, F Louw (W Whiteley, 41), S Burger.
New Zealand: I Dagg (B Barrett, 51); B Smith, C Smith, M Nonu (M Fekitoa, 47), C Piutau; L Sopoaga, A Smith (TJ Perenara, 64); T Woodcock (W Crockett, 49), D Coles (C Taylor, 59), O Franks (B Franks, 56), B Retallick, J Broadhurst (S Whitelock, 41), L Messam (V Vito, 56), R McCaw, K Read.
Sin bin: Whitelock.
Scoring sequence: 0-3, Sopoaga pen; 5-3, Le Roux try; 7-3, Pollard con; 10-3, Pollard pen; 10-8, B Smith try; 10-10, Sopoaga con; 15-10, Kriel try; 17-10, Pollard con; 17-15, Coles try; 17-17, Sopoaga con; 20-17, Pollard pen; 20-22, McCaw try, 20-24, Sopoaga con; 20-27, Sopoaga pen