All Blacks rock Springboks 32/12
The All Blacks exacted revenge for last year’s humiliation by the Springboks when they ignited this year’s Tri-Nations series with a 32-12 victory over the defending champions here Saturday.
In a high-tempo clash between the world’s top two rugby sides, the All Blacks also claimed a crucial bonus point as they scored four unanswered tries.
A year after relinquishing their Tri-Nations crown when they were trounced in all three Tests against South Africa, the All Blacks bounced back with determination as they extended their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 21 Tests.
They out-ran the Springboks in the backs and out-muscled them up front, including the rare sight of the South African pack being back-pedalled at scrum time and driven back 25-metres at a lineout late in the match.
“The key thing behind this performance was three-zip last year,” said forwards coach Steve Hansen.
“A lot of people have been waiting a long time to play this Test match and we came out on top of it. Now we’ve got to do it again next week, that’s the exciting thing.”
Head coach Graham Henry had special praise for his forwards and the overall defensive effort which kept their line intact.
“The edge was created by the results last year so I think the boys should be very proud of what they achieved,” he said.
“The defence was superb. The forwards dominated the Springbok eight and that’s what set the standard.” The Springboks, who have not beaten the All Blacks in Auckland for 53 years, struggled to match the pace of the All Blacks and were forced to rely on four penalties from the boot of Morne Steyn for their points.