All Blacks outclass Springboks
Elton Jantjies and Dan Carter (Getty Images)
Soweto - The All Blacks extended their winning streak to 16 consecutive matches, dismantling the Springboks 32-16 in their final Rugby Championship Test of the season at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
After a convincing start to the match, small errors crept into the Springboks’ play which saw them squandering an early stranglehold over the tourists.
The hosts enjoyed abundant possession in the first 20 minutes and spent the majority of the time in the All Blacks’ half.
The New Zealanders found themselves on the wrong side of match referee, Alain Rolland, who penalised them severely, especially at the breakdown area.
The Boks were gifted with two early scoring opportunities but the place-kickers once again struggled to find their targets.
Flyhalf Johan Goosen failed with his first two attempts at goal, with his second kick hitting the upright.
The South Africans, however, soon made up for the lost points with a set move that saw Bryan Habana
crossing the whitewash.
The Boks took a short lineout then shifted the ball to Duane Vermeulen
who drew in the defenders, with the ball going out to Willem Alberts
The loose forward passed to captain Jean de Villiers, who did well to keep the ball under control and offloaded to a speeding Habana to score under the posts, with Goosen converting. Goosen also kicked a penalty to the home side 10-0 up.
Matters, however, went awry for the Boks as their opponents got themselves onto the scoreboard in the 26th minute.
The All Blacks showed their ruthless nature as they scored from their first true attacking opportunity, with Sam Whitelock bagging their first five-pointer of the evening from a South African mistake, with flyhalf Dan Carter missing the conversion
Centre Jaco Taute failed to find touch from a pressure situation on his goalline and the New Zealanders countered with precision.
The visitors struck again seven minutes later when Habana left a gap, moving out of his defensive line to go for an intercept.
This resulted in a try for New Zealand scrumhalf Aaron Smith, with Carter converting.
The Boks were dealt another blow when Goosen retired hurt and Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies
received an extended run in the No 10 jersey.
Shortly after he ran on, in the 36th minute, Jantjies succeeded with a penalty and followed it up with another shortly before the half-time break to give the Boks a four-point lead at 16-12.
But South Africa’s problems were compounded after the break, with Ma’a Nonu crossing the tryline mere seconds after the restart, and Carter converted to give them a 19-16 lead.
New Zealand showed further intent 12 minutes later when Conrad Smith scored their fourth try of the evening, exploiting the weaknesses in South Africa’s defensive line.
Carter converted and rubbed more salt into the home side's wounds with a drop goal in the 64th minute to extend their advantage to 13 points.
The Boks started to play with more desperation as the clock wound down but their impatience ultimately cost them as they squandered a few opportunities.
They received a small lifeline when New Zealand fullback Israel Dagg got yellow-carded with 14 minutes left in the encounter.
The South Africans, however, could not capitalise on the advantage and instead Carter slotted over another penalty conversion to wrap up the match.Scorers:South Africa:
Try: Bryan Habana
Conversion: Johan Goosen
Penalties: Goosen, Elton Jantjies
Tries: Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Ma'a Nonu, and Conrad Smith.
Conversions: Dan Carter (3)
Drop: CarterTeams:South Africa:
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Bryan Habana
, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard
, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar
, 8 Duane Vermeulen
, 7 Willem Alberts
, 6 Francois Louw
, 5 Andries Bekker
, 4 Eben Etzebeth
, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss
, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg
, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen
, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee
, 20 Elton Jantjies
, 21 Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick LambieNew Zealand:
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Luke Romano, 19 Adam Thomson, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Aaron Cruden, 22 Tamati Ellison
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What went wrong for the Springboks against the All Blacks in Soweto? What needs to be done so that South Africa can get to New Zealand’s level? Send your thoughts to Sport24