South African Rugby

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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