Aaron Smith (File)
Dunedin - Dropped scrum half Aaron Smith was
the hero Saturday for New Zealand, coming on to score a game-changing
solo try as the All Blacks defeated South Africa 21-11 in the Rugby
The win in Dunedin kept the hosts unbeaten after
four matches while the injury-hit Springboks saw their record slump to
one win, a draw and two losses.
Smith, who had been dropped to the
bench for breaking team protocol, was introduced for the second half
with the All Blacks holding a slender 5-3 lead.
through the half, with the scores locked at 8-8, he snapped the deadlock
with a brilliant solo try when he darted around the side of a ruck and
scampered 30 metres to the line.
The All Blacks scored two tries, to Israel Dagg and Smith, while Aaron Cruden kicked three penalties and a conversion.
South Africa's points came from an exceptional try to Bryan Habana and penalties to Morne Steyn and Johan Goosen.
The win extended the All Blacks' unbeaten run to 14 games, four short of the world record 18 held by Lithuania.
the first half the Springboks put away their kicking game and took the
All Blacks on in the forwards with their confidence growing as they held
their own in the bruising opening exchanges.
It kept the visitors
within striking range of the posts but kickers Morne and Frans Steyn
were woefully off target, being successful with only one of six shots at
When the Springboks resorted to the boot early in the
second half, a piece of individual brilliance by Habana produced an
The right wing scoring machine charged straight
through Cruden, then gathered in his own chip-kick over Richie McCaw's
head to score in the corner.
It put South Africa ahead 8-3 with Morne Steyn again off target with the conversion attempt.
the All Blacks were counting their blessings at the inaccuracy of the
Springbok kickers, they were also ruing the Springboks' discipline.
was not until the 51st minute that Cruden had his first penalty shot at
goal and was successful from 30 metres to level the score at 8-8.
Smith then produced his magical try, which Cruden converted to put the All Blacks out to a 15-8 victory.
Africa narrowed the gap to 15-11 when replacement fly-half Goosen
landed a penalty for his first international points, before Cruden
kicked two more penalties for the All Blacks in the closing stages.Teams:
HAVE YOUR SAY: What do you think should be done to turnaround the fortunes of the Springboks? Is it time for coach Heyneke Meyer to pack and go? Send your thoughts to Sport24.
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12
Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran
Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke
Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock
16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor
Vito, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Tamati Ellison
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Frans
Steyn, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane
Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip
van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Andries Strauss, 1 Tendai
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Dean Greyling, 18-Andries Bekker,
19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Johan Goosen, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Pat Lambie