Cape Town - Former New Zealand prop Craig Dowd was a relieved man after watching last Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test between the Springboks and All Blacks at Newlands.
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Not only was Dowd thrilled that his former team had won, but he was also happy to see a contest.
Dowd, who played 60 Tests for New Zealand between 1993 and 2000, last month questioned the governance of SA Rugby after the All Blacks had humiliated the Springboks 57-0 in Albany.
This week, Dowd shared his thoughts on New Zealand’s narrow win at Newlands via a column for the KweseESPN website.
“My first reaction after the All Blacks beat the Springboks 25-24 was: thank goodness, the Springboks are back,” Dowd wrote.
“That's the sort of rugby we all want to see, competitive and hard with the result going down to the wire. There were some fantastic touches from both teams with guys pushing the boundaries, some of them to places they hadn't been before.”
Dowd thinks last month’s result in New Zealand was perhaps a fluke.
“On reflection, I think you would have to say that the 57-0 Albany result was one of those ‘once in a blue moon’ games that come along occasionally. The Springboks weren't that far away and just didn't execute when they had their chances while the All Blacks did.”
Dowd also singled out two Springbok forwards who had impressed him at Newlands.
“Malcolm Marx and Eben Etzebeth threw caution to the wind and went for it in Cape Town. That's not something you can coach into players, it comes from within and they showed how powerful that internal force could be”.
Last Saturday's win was New Zealand's 11th in their last 12 Tests against South Africa.
Overall, in their 95 Tests to date, the All Blacks boast a 57-35 win-loss record against the Springboks with three matches having ended in draws.
CLICK HERE to read Craig Dowd’s full column on the KweseESPN website