Underarms, Catamarans and Food Poisonings

It looked like it was in the bag until…

Januarie breaks through the All Black defence, chips ahead, recollects the ball and then bam! Springbok try. Before hand I was feeling confident, five points ahead, and Victor Matfield in the bin for a high tackle. Only five or so minutes to go, we should hold out. Instead, a last minute drop goal attempt from Dan Carter was charged down and the All Blacks lost to South Africa at home for the first time in 10m years and the first time ever at Carisbrook.

Although I am a hestitant to say South Africa deserved to win, they were definitely better than last week. They were strong in all areas of the game, and looked much tighter than last weak, although there were still a lot of errors. They particularly dominated the line outs, which was to be expected, especially once Ali Williams left the field early. New Zealand were good in most areas, Dan Carter had another great one, as did many others, but there line out was so poor, perhaps they did not deserve to win.

The inexperienced Matt Goddard made Stu Dickenson look competent with a dismal performance. Goddard’s whistle was never far from being blown, but sometimes it was a surprise when it wasn’t. Although he made no major game changing decisions, he missed a few Bok offsides and a lot of off the ball and dangerous tackles. At times the Boks looked like they were playing gridiron not rugby! My belief that the Boks had a directive to target Carter with illegal tackles whether he had the ball was given more weight, as the Boks continued with this tactic. Unfortunetly the refs were not paying attention and missed a lot of calls against the boks in this area. There will also no doubt be a citing for what appeared to be an eye gouging, and I won’t be surprised to see a South African player miss the coming test against Australia. South Africa should have been a player down much earlier, which could have perhaps changed the result…

In the end Ricky Januarie was the difference. Without him the Boks would’ve have left New Zealand with probably only a solitary point. Full credit to him. Considering how many young players the All Blacks have, I am not too disappointed, think about who wasn’t there! New Zealand’s relatively inexperienced team will have gained a lot from the two matches against South Africa, and should look forward to revenge in a few weeks time.

It will be interesting to see if our Graham Henry makes as much fuss (as I believe he may well be entitled to) as his counterpart did last week…


4 Comments so far
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With all due respect, the springboks had a few players missing too, such as their captain, Fourie du preez and Jaque Fourie. The fact of the matter is that the All Blacks lost. Therefore, they did not deserve to win. The logic is simple, no ?

Comment by Alastair

You have a point, and any team who wins in New Zealand, especially in Carisbrook, must play well to do so. But this New Zealand team are without so much talent, a few through injury or suspension, but mainly through chasing the money in Europe. Compare our locks last night for example, the Boks caps combined was around 100, and ours was two! We’ve lost a lot up front, but still competed. Even our backline is not as potent as in previous years. To win last week, and then to only lose by two last night was commendable for such an inexperienced team against a team who need to win abroad to prove to doubters that they deserve to be world champions. Do you recall how comical it was win England were World Champs, but got caned by all comers?
I am not too sure the logic is that simple. How many times does the team which plays worse win? Euro 2008 Football Germany v Turkey? Even the boks in their pool matches were lucky to win. If it were not for a piece of Januarie magic last night, it would have been a different story.
South Africa were the better team, but their foul play left me disgusted at times. We’ll see what the judiciary say about that eye gouging!

Comment by underground

That should read when England instead of win England.

Comment by underground

I think these stats support what I was saying:
South Africa: 606 caps
New Zealand: 355 caps
SA Locks Matfield Botha: 123 caps
NZ Locks Boric O’neill: 2 caps
Once again New Zealand punched above their weight. Bring on the Aussies!

Comment by underground

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