All Blacks steal 27-20 victory from Springboks
The All Blacks have beaten the Springboks 27-20 in Johannesburg in their rugby championship clash.
JOHANNESBURG - The Springboks will look back on an otherwise fine performance with some regret, as despite boasting possession and territory, they fell to a 7 point defeat at Emirates Airline Park.
Debutant Lima Sopoaga settled his nerves with an early penalty that was met with a stern attacking effort by the Boks.
Defensive pressure on the visitors saw the hosts win a turnover deep in All Black territory, the ball found its way to Jesse Kriel who popped it inside for Willie le Roux to dive over.
Pollard made no mistake with the boot, before adding a penalty to hand the Boks a 10-3 advantage.
A couple of missed penalties either side didn't stop the Boks from doing a lot right in the first half, defending when they had to and looking good with ball in hand on the front foot, but at the stroke of half-time, the All Blacks reminded them of how dangerous they can be, a Sopoaga break followed by a Ben Smith try, the conversion making it 10-all at the break.
The second half mirrored the first as the Boks enjoyed possession and territory, and having scored on international debut against Australia last week, Jesse Kriel completed his own personal 'slam' as he scored against the All Blacks, Pollard converting.
However, Dane Coles ran a similar line at the other end to score, 17 all early in the 2nd half. If there's one thing the Boks didn't do right today, its converting the Lion's share of visits to the 22 into tries, and it cost them.
While they could only score a penalty after Kriel's try, the All Blacks went ahead with a well worked line-out move for Richie McCaw to force his way over.
A late Sopoaga penalty handed the All Blacks a 27-20 victory.