Sunday, June 24, 2007

News after Saturday's test

-> Pictures from yesterday's match
-> Really tough match for the ABs, I usually call them Marathon-men coz they know that a match lasts 80 minutes and they don't have to hurry but yesterday, I was close to call them Turtle-men (like the poem by La Fontaine -for those who see what I mean...) The referee was really good (but should have given at least -to me- two more yellow cards -one on each side...), Alain rolland is a very good referee ;)
For their defense we can say that they ABs had had a 18 hours journey and 10 hours of jet lag to South Africa ; next Saturday in Melbourne (at the Dome, I guess?), they will also have a long trip behind them...

Anyway, here in France, we had a long rugby afternoon since after the match, we could watch a report entitled "Au coeur des Blacks", a sum-up of the History of the All Blacks -from today (Richie, Piri, Mils, Kevin, Aaron, Dan., Byron and coach Graham) and from yesterday (Jonah, Brian Lochore and others...) The DVD will be available here on August 20th. We were told that they ABs had had a copy of it and that they really appreciate this tribute, so hopefully the DVD will be available everywhere ;)
ps : sorry for yesterday's race to the guys sailing in the America's cup final but it's only 1/0...they can be Marathon-Men too!!!!


Rugby: All Black's epic second-half come back
Sun, 24 Jun 2007 7:45a.m.

A storming final 15 minutes has given the All Blacks just their second win from their last five tests on South African soil in their Tri Nations opener in Durban.
The All Blacks fitness shone through with two late tries to eclipse the Springboks 26 - 21 in this morning's Tri-Nations clash.

The South Africans started with a hiss and a roar, but could not capitalise until right on half time when Shalk Burger crashed over to give them an 11 - 6 lead.

Trailing 21 - 12 in the second half, the injection of five bench players sparked quick-fire tries to Richie McCaw and Joe Rokocoko and a Tri-Nations triumph.

Skipper Richie McCaw thankful for their late burst - but he knows it cannot happen again.


Rugby World Cup Update: 24 June
Sun, 24 Jun 2007 7:01p.m.

In tonight’s Rugby World Cup update Hamish McKay looks at the possibility of a South Africa vs New Zealand final and talks to Graham Henry following the sensational win the All Blacks had over the Boks earlier today.

All Blacks can improve 40 percent - Henry

All Blacks coach Graham Henry was delighted with his side's 26-21 thrilling come-from-behind over South Africa in their Philips Tri Nations match in Durban but said the side could improve 40 percent on its effort.

It took two stunning late tries to flanker Richie McCaw and wing Joe Rokocoko for the All Blacks to break down a 21-12 lead for the South Africans.

But the 68th and 71st minute tries were the product of superior fitness and skill for the All Blacks as they ran a tired Springboks team ragged.

The All Blacks were down 6-11 at halftime, a half that Henry told Skysport was 'ugly'.

He said it took the team a while to settle into the intensity of the game which was tougher than any it had played so far this season.

"But the big thing was they were prepared to play rugby and chance their arm. We're delighted," he said, adding that it had also proved the worth of the reconditioning programme so well did the side's fitness stand up to the pressure.


All Blacks fitness sets up win

An outstanding last 15 minutes carried the All Blacks to a 26-21 victory over South Africa in the Philips Tri Nations Test at Durban.

Down 12-21, the All Blacks responded with two superb tries, the first to captain and flanker Richie McCaw and the second to wing Joe Rokocoko, a reward for tenacity, and superior fitness.

With South Africa playing an effective game of patience, the All Blacks committed many uncharacteristic unforced errors but a decision to up the pace proved its worth as the Springboks struggled to handle the tempo.
The expected lineout disadvantage did not materialise and the All Blacks scrum was a vastly superior unit.

But it was the determination of the loose forwards that set up the recovery. No.8 Rodney So'oialo proved the spark with a magnificent run out of the All Blacks 22 that saw him race into the Springboks half. He passed to the fast following flanker Jerry Collins and from that point it was a case of All Blacks rampant.
The ball moved to the left corner and as the ball popped out of the back of a ruck it was a low-flying Richie McCaw who scooped up the ball and drove over for a 68th minute try.
Three minutes later, Rokocoko ran the ball out of the All Blacks 22m, linked with replacement fullback Leon MacDonald who kicked downfield. The ball was blocked but it arrived for Rokocoko to race away to score the match winner.

Throughout the first 68 minutes New Zealand didn't lack for opportunities but uncharacteristic handling problems, spread across the team, and disappointing ball security several times eased pressure on the South Africans.
South Africa opened the scoring when lock Troy Flavell was penalised at a ruck on the All Blacks line and fullback Percy Montgomery landed the goal. Halfback Ruan Pienaar extended the lead after 19 minutes when fullback Mils Muliaina didn't release the ball in a tackle 52m out from the line.

First five-eighths Dan Carter rewarded some better All Blacks build-up work by landing his first penalty goal after 29 minutes.

New Zealand, after some initial hesitancy and fumbled ball began to assert greater control with superior passing and driving especially among the forwards.
But again, 33 minutes into the half, the Springboks held onto the ball too long in the tackle and Carter had a chance but missed his third attempt.

Three minutes he was more successful from the right hand side of the field when lock Bakkies Botha was penalised at the ruck and the scorers were leveled.
The All Blacks looked to break out from their half in the last moments of the spell, but the ball was turned over and with a kick to the corner and a lineout, it was the South Africans who mauled their way to the line for flanker Schalk Burger to score for an 11-6 halftime lead.
The All Blacks immediately trimmed the lead after the re-start when second five-eighths Aaron Mauger calmed dropped a goal.
However, Mauger, two minutes later made a bad mistake after some clever work when a quick lineout was taken. Tackled in midfield, he threw a pass when lying flat on his back.

But it was Butch James who intercepted the ball and raced 30m to score with Montgomery adding the conversion.

New Zealand lost one positive attacking scrum chance when referee Alain Rolland ruled the ball had not been carried back into goal and forced by Pienaar when television evidence clearly showed the infringement.

South Africa rang the replacements and two of them were immediately involved in New Zealand's next scoring chance. Francois Steyn came on at first five-eighths and dropped his first pass resulting in a five-metre scrum to the All Blacks.

Moments later, Pedrie Wannenburg, who had replaced Bobby Skinstad, was sin-binned for a ruck infringement which saw Carter land his third penalty goal after 55 minutes.
Montgomery kicked a 66th minute penalty goal, but that merely served to inspire the All Blacks to greater heights as their fitness undid the home side.

Scorers: New Zealand 26 (Richie McCaw, Joe Rokocoko tries; Dan Carter 2 con, 3 pen; Aaron Mauger dropped goal)
South Africa 21 (Schalk Burger, Butch James tries; Percy Montgomery con, 2pen; Ruan Pienaar pen).

HT: 6-11

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