first_imgNew Zealand held off a spirited fight from hosts South Africa to complete their Rugby Championship campaign unbeaten after a 25-24 win in a ferocious physical battle in Cape Town. Each side scored three tries at Newlands in a thrilling spectacle as South Africa restored some pride with a competitive display after being beaten by a record 57-0 in New Zealand last month. The All Blacks’ tries came from Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane and Damian McKenzie while Ross Cronje, Jean-Luc du Preez and Malcolm Marx scored for the home side.New Zealand led 8-3 at the break and were given a scare when Marx’s 79th-minute try, converted by Elton Jantjies, took the hosts to within a single point. But they held on to finish the southern-hemisphere championship with a 100% success rate for a second successive year. They had already secured the title for a fifth time in six years last week. Share on Messenger South Africa rugby team Share on Twitter Rugby union Since you’re here… Topics Share on WhatsApp Rugby Championship Support The Guardian Exeter back on top in Premiership with bonus-point defeat of Newcastle Read morecenter_img match reports … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Facebook The teams traded early penalties before Crotty scored a first try for the All Blacks, chasing on to a charge down by Beauden Barrett and scrambling beyond the try line to ground it. The points were awarded after lengthy deliberations by the television match official.The first half extended for eight minutes after the hooter as the teams kept the ball alive, looking for a score in a bruising battle of attrition.After the break South Africa piled on the pressure in the scrum and scored within five minutes when the scrum-half Cronje took the ball from the ruck to go over. The conversion by Jantjies put South Africa 10-8 up, but New Zealand could have been quickly back ahead had Lima Sopoaga not missed a kickable penalty from 45 metres out.With the crowd behind them, the Springboks surged forward to try to extend their 10-8 lead, only for the wing Ioane to pick off an interception and outsprint the defence, running 80 metres for a second New Zealand try.Within three minutes South Africa had restored their two-point advantage as the hooker Marx took the ball inside the 22 and set up the substitute loose forward Du Preez for the try.A slice of magic again proved the catalyst for the All Blacks at a decisive moment, as a counterattack by David Havli, on for only his second cap, caught out a disjointed defensive line and resulted in McKenzie jinking his way over.South Africa lost the centre Damian de Allende to a red card in the last five minutes, for a late tackle on Sopoaga as he went wide with a drop-kick effort.Even down to 14 men South Africa rallied in the closing stages and Marx scored with less than two minutes remaining.The All Blacks captain, Kieran Read, said: “Our guys will learn from it, but when you are in that situation you have to remain as calm as you can and the boys did that – they did enough and we will take the win.”Allister Coetzee, the Springboks’ coach, said he felt sorry for his players but the result showed “we are heading in the right direction”. Share via Email The Observer Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn New Zealand rugby union team Reuse this contentlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *