South African Rugby

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Aussies beat the All Blacks

Australia came back to beat New Zealand 20-15 today.

The Wallabies scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to beat the kiwis for the first time since 2004 after first-half tries from prop Tony Woodcock and winger Rico Gear had given the Kiwis a 15-6 lead at the break.

Backs Adam Ashley-Cooper and Scott Staniforth scored second-half touchdowns for the Australians as the All Blacks struggled following a sin-bin absence for prop Carl Hayman.

Stirling Mortlock struck two penalties and Matt Giteau two conversions for the Wallabies while Dan Carter hit a conversion and penalty for the All Blacks.

The Aussies are back ,they always seem to get the timing right for the big tournamnets.

South African Rugby homepage

Monday, June 25, 2007

Aussies are pissed

South African rugby officials defended today the selection of a weakened squad to meet Australia and New Zealand in the next Tri-Nations games .

Australia and New Zealand have criticised South Africa's decision to omit 20 frontline players for the games in Sydney on July 7 and Christchurch a week later. A statement from the South African Rugby Union (Saru) said nine players had been injured in the opening matches against Australia and New Zealand. South Africa beat Australia 22-19 before losing 26-21 to World Cup favourites New Zealand.

"A large number of players were extremely exhausted as a result of a demanding five-week period of test match rugby and an equally demanding Super 14 competition," it said. "A total of nine players are now injured following the New Zealand and Australian matches and, given the status of these coupled with the fatigue of others, it would not have been advisable for management to allow these players to travel to Australasia."

We are not going to beat the all blacks in their home turf so we might as well keep our guys fit for the world cup.

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We were so close

The Kiwis reasserted their position as favourites for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup with a close 26-21 win away to rivals South Africa in the Tri-Nations.

After a pair of excellent victories over England, overturning Australia and a dominant showing by their sides in the Super 14, the Springboks have assumed the mantle of the All Blacks' closest challengers.

But Graham Henry's side recovered after trailing 21-12 late in the second half to silence the kings park crowd and claim only their second win in their last five attempts in the country.

South Africa dominated the early exchanges, but appeared to have spared the All Blacks as the game headed for half-time with penalties from Percy Montgomery and Ruan Pienaar cancelled out by a pair from Dan Carter.

However in the final minute of the half, flanker Schalk Burger ensured a deserved interval lead for his side and he edged his way over at the back of a trundling driving maul.

An Aaron Mauger drop-goal cut the deficit to two points, but the Leicester-bound centre then saw his attempt to pass out of a tackle lodge in the grateful hands of Butch James who raced in under the posts to extend the lead to 18-9, which was classic.

Montgomery and Carter exchanged penalties, but it seemed the odds on New Zealand ending their 20-year wait for the World Cup in France this autumn were set to lengthen as the game entered the final 12 minutes with the Springboks clutching a healthy nine-point advantage.

A powerhouse break from Rodney So'oialo shot through the South African defence and back row partner Richie McCaw scooped up the loose ball to dot down and start the Springbok nerves rattling.

Carter's successful conversion left his side still two points short of South Africa, but they seized the lead just three minutes later when Leon MacDonald's counterattack was rounded off by winger Joe Rokocoko.
The last twenty minutes was critical and we were not fit enough ,our replacements could not cope with the All Black hype e.g Steyn we were so close but we made more mistakes than the Kiwis and we paid for it.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

South Africa 55 England 22

Saturday's most revealing snapshot happened in the Bok’s dressing room at half time. England was up 19-17, having just scored a converted interception try from Dan Scarbrough to add to four penalties by Jonny Wilkinson. Instead of panicking and ranting .White delegated responsibility to the players. They accepted the unspoken challenge to get their butts in gear and put in what White described as "our best 10 minutes in the two Tests" to run in three tries and splinter England's resistance.

The 43rd minute try scored by Bakkies Botha was the most ominous, showcasing as it did the rare pace, power and handling skills of the forwards. As for the second of Bryan Habana's two tries, taking his tally against England to five in their last three meetings, there was pure genius in the way he ducked into space and threw a glorious sidestep to leave the debutant Nick Abendanon in a heap of twisted vowels. Pierre Spies, the No 8 with hands the size of dustbin lids, also waltzed over for the first two tries of his Test career in a manner which suggested he may well shatter all Test scoring records for a forward by the time he is finished and what a start he is a real find from this English tour.

For England this series was an unnecessary evil, a sickly damage-limitation exercise. For South Africa, contrary to what Brian Ashton keeps claiming, the legacy has been purely positive. "It's easy for Brian Ashton to say because he didn't lose to South Africa for the last seven years. There are a lot of psychological bonuses for us," insisted White. Bring on September.

South African Rugby homepage

Friday, June 01, 2007

Loftus build up

I am really going to enjoy the match on Saturday, strange how all rugby playing nations all like to beat England .Having to watch South Africa’s over the past couple of years has been quite painful at times.

England has to put a brave face on and maybe they can put this bug behind them but with South Africa not playing as a team for six months and the SA public enjoying the Super 14 and build up to the world cup.I wonder what the score will be, I am hoping for a 50 point gap to the Springboks which would be awesome.

Team information:

South Africa:

P Montgomery (Sharks); A Ndungane (Bulls), W Olivier (Bulls), J de Villiers (Stormers), B Habana (Bulls); B James (Sharks), R Januarie (Lions); G Steenkamp (Bulls), J Smit (Sharks, capt), C J van der Linde (Cheetahs), B Botha (Bulls), V Matfield (Bulls), S Burger (Stormers), J Smith (Cheetahs), P Spies (Bulls).
Replacements: G Botha (Bulls), D Carstens (Sharks), J Muller (Sharks), B Skinstad (Sharks), R Pienaar (Sharks), F Steyn (Sharks), A Willemse (Lions).


M Brown (Harlequins); J Noon (Newcastle), M Tait (Newcastle), T Flood (Newcastle), D Scarbrough (Saracens); J Wilkinson (Newcastle, capt), A Gomarsall (Harlequins), K Yates (Saracens), M Regan (Bristol), M Stevens (Bath), R Winters (Bristol), A Brown (Gloucester), N Easter (Harlequins), M Lund (Sale Sharks), B Skirving (Saracens).
Replacements: A Titterrell (Sale Sharks), S Turner (Sale Sharks), D Schofield (Sale Sharks), C Jones (Sale Sharks), S Perry (Bristol), A Allen (Gloucester), N Abendanon (Bath).

What do you think the score will be?

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