South African Rugby

Sunday, July 20, 2008

16 -9 to the aussies

Australia had a great start to their Tri-Nations campaign with a 16-9 win over South Africa in Perth on Saturday.

Tries in each half from Lote Tuqiri and captain Stirling Mortlock secured victory for the Wallabies who have won fourth straight under new coach Robbie Deans. They thumped the French last month.

The boks who have played three bruising away matches, were going down to their second defeat of the tournament, coming down to earth after the historic 30-28 win over New Zealand in Dunedin last weekend.

We started well with Francois Steyn kicking a long-range penalty in the sixth minute to put the Boks 3-0 ahead, but proceeded to miss a drop goal and further penalty chance.
Tuqiri's try came against the run of play as he finished off a sweeping move following quick passes from Nathan Sharpe and Matt Giteau.

Australia took a further grip in the opening minutes of the second half as Mortlock powered over.
Giteau missed the conversion but extended the lead to 13-3 with a 51st minute penalty.
But only two minutes later, Mortlock left the field with a suspected concussion after butting heads with Schalk Burger and after Australia gave away a penalty in the scrum, Springboks flyhalf Butch James closed the gap to 13-6.

A further Steyn penalty with just over 10 minutes remaining led to a painful finish, but a Berrick Barnes drop goal in the last bloody minute made sure the Aussies were going to win.

The Boks play their three remaining Tri-Nations matches in South Africa -- the All Blacks in Cape Town on August 16 and then back-to back-matches against the Wallabies on August 23 in Durban and August 30 in Johannesburg.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

New Zealand 28 South Africa 30

This was a brilliant Tri-Nations match even if you were a neutral supporter this would have been a great game to watch and with the South African win made the game all the better to watch. The Boks had not won at Carisbrook since 1921 and they had gone ten years without a victory on New Zealand soil.

Carter kicked the Kiwis into an early lead before Percy replied. A try on the half-hour from JP Pietersen, following a pick-up off the base of a five-metre scrum by the No 8, Joe van Niekerk, edged South Africa ahead. Butch James dropped a goal before Carter kicked two more penalties to trim South Africa's lead to 17-15.

The All Blacks, although still not as fast in getting numbers to the breakdown and constantly surprised by the huge improvement in the Springboks' scrum from the previous week, scored a try after 55 minutes from Sione Lauaki and Carter converted to make it 22-17.

Two Butch James penalties brought the South Africa back into the game but Matfield's trip to the sin-bin, for a high tackle which the referee had previously warned both teams he would penalize the faulty party ,a sixth penalty

When Carter kicked the Kiwis into a 28-23 lead with just 7 minutes remaining and the Springbok captain, Victor Matfield, in the sin-bin for the rest of the game, it looked like we were screwed. But the Ricky Januarie did his brilliant chip and lucky bounce to give us a much needed second try we were back in the game.

It was a game that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. The Kiwis coach, Graham Henry, not a man to give out compliments, called it "a fabulous game of rugby".

De Villiers said: "I always believed in the players and they put it together today and showed great belief in themselves. They knew they had to up their game and they did that. I was a bit worried when we went down to 14 men but the guys stuck to their guns for a great win. The difference with last week was that we had the ball on the front foot most of the time here."

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Tri Nations Kick Off

Joe van Niekerk will be playing instead of Pierre Spies or Ryan Kankowski for the No.8 position for the Tri Nations opening game against the Kiwis in Wellington.

Coach Peter de Villiers said: "Joe came back into the Springbok camp after having a brilliant Super 14 and he showed to all of us that he means business. The kiwis have been surprised at our new coach’s selection.

How The Boks Compare

In the front, the All Blacks boast a strong scrum, props Tony Woodcock and Greg Somerville and the Super 14’s hooker Andrew Hore. But the Boks reign supreme in the air, with combination of locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha and captain John Smit’s throws that was under the old rules and with the new rules in (No restrictions on players in the lineout) and the kiwis used to playing them our locks need to get up to speed. The good news is Richie McCaw is out.

In the backline Butch James had an outstanding World Cup year and has been working his magic with Bath, but is up against the famous Dan Carter.

While Jean de Villiers is the form inside centre of world rugby, he will be matched by the menace of Ma’a Nonu, while Conrad Smith has more street smarts and combination than rookie Adrian Jacobs.

The last time we beat the Kiwis in Wellington was in 1998 and I sure they are gunning for us to try make up for the World cup, it is going to be a hard game with crappy weather let’s hope our boys pull it off.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis; 1 Tony Woodcock, 2 Andrew Hore, 3 Greg Somerville, 4 Brad Thorn, 5 Ali Williams, 6 Adam Thomson, 7 Rodney So'oialo (capt), 8 Jerome Kaino.Replacements: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Neemia Tialata, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Sione Lauaki, 20 Jimmy Cowan, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Leon MacDonald.

South Africa: 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Odwa Ndungane, 13 Adrian Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James, 9 Ricky Januarie; 1 Gurthro Steenkamp, 2 John Smit (capt) , 3 CJ van der Linde, 4 Bakkies Botha, 5 Victor Matfield, 6 Schalk Burger, 7 Juan Smith, 8 Joe van Niekerk.Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Brian Mujati, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Bolla Conradie, 21 Francois Steyn, 22 Percy Montgomery

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