South Africa recorded their second win in a row against the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday evening, in wet conditions.
Morne Steyn (Wearing his Nike Vapor 4 Rugby boots) scored every single one of his team’s points with a terrific display of place-kicking. He broke the record for most points against the All Blacks, most points in a tri nations game and earned the World record for most points scored by a player! Steyn has scored all their team’s points and the most penalties by a South African in a game. In doing so, he beat the 7 achieved by kicking coach and world cup winner Percy Montgomery.
The All Blacks had challenged themselves to respond from last week’s defeat in Bloemfontein, but performance was error ridden from start to finish.
Some players ran when they should have kicked, others took contact when they should have run and others even kicked when they should have taken contact. However there is much talent in this team but it is simply not coming together. They are missing the leadership around the field of Dan Carter? Or perhaps the scrummaging of Hayman is finally coming to light. In addition, is it a co-incedence that since Ali Williams has been injured the lineout has not functioned?
South Africa once again made it as ugly a win as can be, but I bet you couldn’t find a Springbok supporter who cares. International Rugby is about taking your chances which the Springboks and Steyn did. Obvously they will hope for a more expansive game in Cape Town next week against the Wallabies but currently they are sitting top of the tree in World Rugby.
Once Rokocoko and Sivivatu had revealed their fragility under the high balls, the Boks were merciless in their exploitation. The panic that set in and the pressure the All Blacks put themselves under to pass and run their way out of the holes was great news for the tough Boks defence.
The teams exchanged penalties early on as Nigel Owens stamped his authority on the game. He was consistent, if stringent, and controlled the game with his usual measured schoolmaster approach, challenging the teams to respond.
New Zealand responded first, with Richie McCaw making a break from a line-out on his own 22 before setting Nonu and Muliaina away, but with Sivivatu slipping it seemed the move had died. But there was Rokocoko to flip the ball out and Isaac Ross once again displayed a flash of his immense promise with the try in the corner.
Donald (wearing his Adidas world cup rugby boots) converted from the touchline to make it 10-3 after ten minutes and briefly, advantage All Blacks.
But back came the Boks with the pressure. High balls, big tackles and vigorous rucks. An offside after 14 minutes, 10-6. Holding on isolated in the tackle, 10-9.
Another breakout from the All Blacks, led by Muliaina was halted by a high tackle on Jimmy Cowan, which saw JP Pietersen sent to the bin and Donald make it 13-9, but Ross followed Pietersen moments later for a silly offside, from which Steyn made it 13-12.
The killer blow was landed by Steyn, typically capitalising on a huge piece of defensive work fom his scrum, which turned New Zealand ball over three metres from the line. All the Bulls fly-half had to do was step and dive over, a manoeuvre he made look decidedly nonchalant.
His conversion made it 19-13 and there was another penalty just before half-time as well which made it 22-13.
Donald and Steyn shared four penalties early in the second half. Then Steyn landed a late penalty to put the game beyond reach and could have made the score more emphatic in the final minute, but inexplicably pushed a simple late penalty wide.He would have disapointed to finish on a miss, but still the only mark on a wonderfull game to the Blues fly half.
For South Africa:
Tries: M Steyn
Cons: M Steyn
Pens: M Steyn 8
For New Zealand:
Pens: Donald 3, McAlister
Yellow cards: Pietersen (South Africa, 29, high tackle), Ross (New Zealand, 30, deliberate infringement), Botha (South Africa, 50, deliberate infringement)
South Africa: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Jannie du Plessis, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Adi Jacobs, 22 Wynand Olivier.
New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Rodney So’oialo, 7 Richie McCaw (capt), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Isaac Ross, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 John Afoa, 18 Jason Eaton, 19 Kieran Read, 20 Piri Weepu, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Cory Jane.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Tim Hayes (Wales)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)