All Blacks Richie McCaw scores the winning try against the Springboks. Photo: Skysports
New Zealand overturned a half-time deficit to claim a 14-10 victory over South Africa in a thrilling Rugby Championship Test at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
Only two tries were scored – one apiece – but the clash between the two best sides in the world lived up to its billing as the All Blacks were forced to hang on in a nail-biting finish to an outstanding contest.
Tafs was a nerd in Granville High School. Photo: wikiimages
Kamikaze hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was a schoolboy academic who excelled in chess before becoming the Wallabies’ Mr Wreckless.
Now, after nine seasons and countless serious injuries, the Tongan powerhouse believes he can produce his best, and remain on the field, by finally allowing his head to rule his big heart.
Wallabies fullback Israel Folau scored early. Photo: Skysports
A late converted try from Rob Horne saw the Wallabies score their first win of the Rugby Championship as they came from behind to beat South Africa 24-23 at Patersons Stadium in Perth.
It went right down to the wire as the Boks, who had led for 38 minutes of the second-half were left to lick their wounds ahead of facing New Zealand.
Savea has scored 26 tries in 25 Tests. Photo: Skysports
New Zealand were eventually convincing winners against Argentina in Napier, picking up a try bonus point in a 28-9 victory.
Julian Savea scored twice, taking his absurd record in Test rugby to 26 tries in 25 games.
At times this was closer to a chip and grubber exhibition than a Test match as both sides, forwards and backs, had their turn to try and put the opposition into a tangle.
O’Connor waiting in the wings for a chance at redemption. Photo: Patrick Hamilton, AFP
Yes, I know that James O’Connor has been a prat. An official at the ARU who had to deal with him all the time told me that O’Connor was the worst of the Three Amigos – O’Connor, Kurtley Beale and Quade Cooper.
He would encourage and lead his mates into trouble and then, somehow, slide away unscathed, while the other two copped the blame and the punishments.
Nathan Charles played a full 80 minutes in the first Test against New Zealand. Photo: SMH
One injured Wallabies rake has been replaced with another as the Wallabies struggle to cope with their growing hooker crisis.
Australian coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to select between his fourth-string and sixth-string hookers to start against South Africa next week after losing Nathan Charles for the season.
Charles suffered a pectoral tear in last weekend’s 51-20 Eden Park thrashing by the All Blacks to join Stephen Moore (knee reconstruction) and Tolu Latu (broken arm) in rehab for the rest of 2014.
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw is congratulated by Aaron Cruden after scoring a try against Australia. Photo: Planet Rugby
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who already holds plenty of records, notably the most capped New Zealand Test player and the most experienced international forward ever to play the game, has taken a couple more.
McCaw, who scored two tries against the Wallabies, now has crossed the chalk 23 times.