All Blacks beat dud Boks and win title - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

All Blacks beat dud Boks and win title

All Blacks beat dud Boks and win title

All Blacks 41++Springboks 13

The All Blacks overwhelmed the Springboks in Christchurch with a six-try bonus point victory that secured The Rugby Championship for 2016 with two rounds to spare.

First half

The All Blacks spent the opening ten minutes in the Springbok half and mounted some promising raids, each of which ended in disappointment. Referee Angus Gardner was making a point dishing out early penalties and Beauden Barrett got the scoring underway by squeezing a ball inside the post from a relatively easy position.

On just their second visit to the All Blacks 22 a series of one-off runs created a hole that allowed Bryan Habana to stroll past two defenders and score untouched. Elton Jantjies converted for a 7-3 lead after 20 minutes.

The All Black response was immediate. Jantjies knocked on from the restart and from the first ruck after the scrum Aaron Smith sent the ball right to hooker Dane Coles who waved it on to an unmarked Israel Dagg who scored—it was too darn easy. Barrett missed the conversion and NZ led 8-7.

Bryan Habana – already a legend – scored  try untouched

A bizarre, disorganised Springbok attempt to exit the 22 by running it out when outnumbered blew up in their faces when a forward pass set up a scrum 20 metres out. The All Blacks ran right and passed it left after the first ruck, but the Boks couldn’t handle the simple switch. Coles attracted three tacklers and delivered the ball to Julian Savea who powered through Habana’s almost try-saver. Barrett converted from touch. NZ 15-7.

Ardie Savea defused a threatening South African attack with a classic turnover and defence quickly turned to attack.  But Sam Whitelock was adjudged guilty of a neck roll by TMO George Ayoub, and it was the Springboks’ turn to sweep downfield. Kieran Read conceded a penalty just inside the 22 that Jantjies duly nailed.

New Zealand were sharp when they got their chances but South Africa were their own worst enemies, although they scrambled well on occasion.

Half time score: New Zealand 15 – South Africa 10.

 Dane Coles – Jack-of-all-trades against Springboks

Second half

A wayward Jantjies clearance allowed first Dane Coles then Ardie Savea to make deep inroads down the right flank and through the middle of the resulting ruck, a superb Aaron Smith pass put Ben Smith in for the all-important first score of the half. 22-10 became 22-13 at 53 minutes when a Dagg knock-on was fielded by an offside Ryan Crotty, and Jantjies landed the penalty.

Ardie Savea scored the bonus point try off the back of an Aaron Smith snipe that appeared to have been assisted by his running behind Matt Todd, but referee Angus Gardner chose not to refer it to the TMO. Replays suggested the grounding was questionable as well. Barrett converted for a 29-13 scoreline leaving South Africa just 22 minutes to bridge the gap.

 Ardie Savea – scored bonus point try

The gap became a chasm when Whitelock, now playing at 6, scored on the left wing after moving there from the middle of the field. Coles played the centre role and delivered a 20-metre pass that Conrad Smith would have been proud of, for the final transfer. Barrett missed the conversion from out wide: NZ 34-13.

The chasm became unbridgeable when the Springboks conceded a 70th minute scrum on their 22 and were penalised. Read called for another scrum from which TJ Perenara ambled past Morne Steyn, who had drifted too wide, and dotted down. Barrett converted.

Final score: All Blacks 41 – Springboks 13.

 Angry Aaron Smith was Man of the Match

Man of the match

Aaron Smith was clearly angry with himself for a rare sub-par game last week and it showed as he turned in one of his best performances ever. Set up three tries and kept the defence guessing whether he’d run, pass or kick. Put in several trademark box kicks that allowed his chasers plenty of time to get into position to contest or regather.

Dane Coles ran Smith a close second with Ardie Savea impressing in his first start and justifying the “next great All Black 7″ tag he’s worn for some time now.

Unfortunate game-changer Elton Jantjies

The Game Changer

The Springboks having scored to take the lead 7-3, Elton Jantjies knocked on from the restart and the All Blacks scored from the resulting scrum. From that moment on they barely fired a shot and the Boks’ attack suffered as they played from deeper and deeper, and became increasingly lateral and error-prone.

Almost unbelievably, it took the introduction of Morne Steyn for them to get back on the front foot.

The Details

Score and Scorers

New Zealand – 41

Tries: I. Dagg (21′) J. Savea (27′), B. Smith (48′), A. Savea (55′), S. Whitelock (64′), TJ Perenara (70′).

Conversions: B. Barrett (28′,49′, 57′, 71′)

Penalty: B. Barrett (8′)

South Africa – 13

Try: B. Habana (18′)

Conversion: E. Jantjies (19′)

Penalties: E. Jantjies (36′, 52′)

Cards: None

Crowd: 20,826


Get more match information from New Zealand Herald


  • mikado

    Well done New Zealand – by some margin the best in the world.

    • Marcus50

      I am still not convinced the All Blacks have improved much but certainly South Africa and Australia have taken a step backwards from last year.

  • The Genius

    Thank you for the write-up Brent. Befitting a test match against traditional rival South Africa, the All Blacks bought a heightened level of pace, accuracy and ruthless efficiency designed to challenge the Springboks for the entire match. The work of Aaron Smith in creating the tempo from which the All Blacks operated from was impressive but there was power in their set-piece work and skills across the park in their ball-work and support play. It is the model going forward and to beat them, sides will have to exceed it because it is clear the All Blacks have no intention of resting on their laurels.

    Both sides are deserving of praise too for the spirit the test match was played in. The rugby history between these 2 teams is unrivaled and the mutual respect between both sides is deep and on-going. How refreshing to see old-fashioned test match intensity, physicality and hard graft. There was no orchestrated niggle, spiteful behaviour or pre-meditated antics to slow the game down or prevent rugby being played. There were no yellow cards for acts of ill-discipline, nor did referee Angus Gardiner ever have to stop the game to speak to the captains to address player behaviour. It was test match rugby as it should be played. Long may it last!

    • Willem Labuschagne

      Good points.

  • Tim

    And the ABs actually played weelll below their best. They gave a way a lot of possession especially.

    Scary for the Boks if New Zealand had actually clicked to the same degree they’ve shown they can already this year.

  • mark conley

    Still a class above

  • Ted

    How is there a write-up of the ab/book game before the WB game? Priority gents!

    • Reggie

      Hear hear. I wake up Sunday morning with a routine to maintain. Bugger the ABs

    • Sambo

      Exactly what I thought… maybe we should get off our lazy asses and write one ourselves

  • Keith Butler

    No doubt the ABs are the best team in world rugby. But they did get the rub of the green on more than one occasion last night. I guess it goes with the territory.

  • Grant NZ

    “Replays suggested the grounding was questionable as well.”

    Nah, the replay was just too short. He didn’t ground it on the first attempt, but clearly got it down when you watch in real time. The reason that didn’t get referred is that by the time the ref got there, he had it on the turf.

    The obstruction should have been called though.

    • Brent Craig

      Now I’ve had a chance to watch it again I agree on both counts.

    • I agree they should certainly have looked at the obstruction again. The only thing I can think is that from the refs POV he thought there was enough space between Aaron Smith and players he ran behind that the Bok players weren’t prevented from making a tackle.

      Got to say from the camera angle we saw it really didn’t look like that though. Gardiner is rapidly becoming one of my most highly respected refs in the game (after Nigel Owens and jostling with Glen Jackson). But incidents like this make me wish World Rugby published a report on how the officials did after every game – highlighting all their good decisions as well as their occasional mistakes. The way they treated Joubert (even though he made a poor decision in that semi-final) was shocking, but if there was public after-match feedback as well as to the teams we’d all have a better idea what the ref thought and whether TPTB agreed or not.

      • Willem Labuschagne

        Agree with your view that Gardiner is commanding respect for his general accuracy (despite the occasional mistake) and positive attitude. I wasn’t sure about a couple of scrum penalties, especially the first scrum, but having seen Gardiner at work this season I now trust that he must have had good reason. Would be lovely if the report you envisage could be not-so-much a report card as an analysis of the game by the ref and assistant refs, with reasons for decisions punctuated by video clips. Coaches would surely welcome that.

        • I know the report card already exists and is sent to clubs, I’d just like to see it made available to the public. It’s no extra work. That said, I do like your idea too. But even top-flight international referees have other jobs as well, and I wonder how much extra time it would take and interfere with their ability to do their other work?

          I think scrum penalties are pretty much always a coin-flip – there are times when it’s clear cut and they get it right. But it depends on what the ref and the ARs see first. You see props lose binding and the ref is on the other side, sees the other prop going down and the penalty is given the wrong way and so on. He might have got them wrong, but he had a different view to us and called what he saw.

All Blacks

a.k.a. Waiopehu Oldboy.

More in All Blacks