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All Blacks trump Springboks with second-half shut out


David Legge


Dan Carter of the All Blacks is tackled by Duane Vermeulen.

Dan Carter of the All Blacks is tackled by Duane Vermeulen. Photo: Getty Images

SOWETO: New Zealand scored 20 unanswered second-half points to complete a perfect Rugby Championship campaign Saturday with a 32-16 triumph over arch rivals South Africa at Soccer City.


Down by 10 points early on and trailing 16-12 at half-time, the All Blacks reclaimed the lead 22 seconds into the second half through a try from veteran inside centre Ma'a Nonu and never looked back.

Richie McCaw of the All Blacks is tackled by Ruan Pienaar. Click for more photos

All Blacks thrash Springboks

The All Blacks turned around a half-time deficit to run out easy winners of South Africa in Johannesburg. Photo: Getty Images

Lock Sam Whitelock, scrum-half Aaron Smith and outside centre Conrad Smith also scored tries and fly-half Dan Carter kicked three conversions, a penalty and a drop goal.

Bryan Habana claimed his seventh try this season in the southern hemisphere championship early on to raise South African hopes, but that was the only time the green and gold crossed the line.

Fly-half Johan Goosen kicked the conversion and a penalty before retiring injured late in the first half and replacement Elton Jantjies landed two penalties.

Coach Heyneke Meyer warned the Springboks before the battle of the highest ranked teams in the world that nothing less than an 80 per cent place-kicking success rate would give his team a chance, and his words proved prophetic.

Youngsters Goosen and Jantjies missed two kicks each to leave South Africa with only a 50 per cent success rate and so the poor record continued when aiming at the posts during the Championship.

"We could not get our hands on the ball in the first half and you can put the fact that we were still in the match down to a wonderful bunch of guys who have been together for some time," said All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.

"It was much better for us during the second half and the boys were able to build pressure. What we worked so hard on during the week paid off," added the bruised and cut flanker.

Springboks captain and inside centre Jean de Villiers said: "We had to play catch-up rugby for too much of the game and that is pretty difficult against a quality team like the All Blacks.

"This is a young team and let us hope that we all learn from our mistakes. The team panicked at times in the closing stages and conceded some stupid penalties."

While the South African pack held its own, there was a yawning gap in class between the back lines with New Zealand managing to score two first half tries despite being virtually starved of possession.

New Zealand defeated South Africa, Australia and Argentina home and away and also picked up two bonus points for a total of 26 -- 14 more than South Africa, who could surrender second place if Australia beat Argentina later Saturday.

The All Blacks can now adjust their sights to creating two world records -- the most consecutive victories by a top-tier rugby nation and by a rugby nation -- with a Test in Australia and an end-of-season tour to Europe looming.

Wins in Australia this month and in Scotland next month will lift them to 18 triumphs on the trot and a new top-tier mark, and success in Italy will take them to 19 straight successes.

Reigning world champions New Zealand share the top-tier record of 17 consecutive Test victories with the Springboks, while minnows Lithuania have won 18 Tests in a row.

The Soweto showdown took a decisive turn toward the All Blacks early in the second half as they attacked from the kick-off and No 8 Kieran Read gave the vital pass to Nonu before Jantjies fluffed two penalty attempts.

New Zealand stretched the advantage to 26-16 on 52 minutes when a passage of play that started with left wing Hosea Gear evading three tackles ended with Conrad Smith diving over after slick handling following a scrum.

NEW ZEALAND 32 (Ma’a Nonu, Aaron Smith, Conrad Smith, Sam Whitelock tries Daniel Carter 3 cons pen drop goal) bt SOUTH AFRICA 16 (Bryan Habana try Johan Goosen con Elton Jantjies 2, Goosen pens) at FNB Stadium. Referee: Alain Rolland.


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs WAL 0 02:00Twic
NZL 0vs FRA 0 06:00MilS
IRE 0vs ARG 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 0vs SCO 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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