South Africa 18 v All Blacks 5
The Springboks have finally got their first win on the board for 2011 and it has come by giving New Zealand their first loss. There was nothing pretty from the Springboks, but they showed the same game plan they have had for twenty years, winning them two World Cups in the process. Scrambling defence, low risk attacking options, skilled goal kicking, strong set pieces and drop kicks eventually suffocated the All Blacks and gained a 18-5 victory. While the All Blacks showed all the enterprise, their second string team lacked the composure, decision-making and experience to complete their chances and be patient when required.
Re-established ‘bok fly-half Morne Steyn kicked all 15 of their points and while he may stand deep, avoid contact and never threaten the line, it’s almost like he was engineered in a lab to be the perfect Springbok number 10. He showed composure and accurate kicking to guide his team around the field, and his two 50 metre penalties at the beginning of the game took the air out of the All Blacks who had been running the Springboks ragged up till that point.
Heinrich Brüssow demonstrated that he is well on the way to being the player to break Wallaby and All Black hearts, just as he was two years ago. The gruesome collision he had with a stray boot to the face further the painted the picture of a warrior fighting for every inch at the breakdown.
Despite the loss, the All Blacks may well leave South Africa with optimism, knowing that even just having Dan Carter back, out of the six top line players left at home, may well have changed the game. In his absence Colin Slade was unable to show the same coolness under pressure, and missed a couple of important goals early on which would have made the All Blacks not have to chase the game as much.
Richard Kahui was dangerous and will now likely have penned his name into the World Cup squad, as will have Israel Dagg who only one game back may even be threatening Mils Muliaina for the starting fullback jersey. Isaia Toeava, Hosea Gear and Liam Messam, however, will have an anxious wait till tomorrow’s squad announcement.
Penaties: Steyn 5
Drop Goal: Steyn
All Blacks 5
Try: Richard Kahui