Narrow Win Sees New Zealand Progress At The Expense Of South Africa

Narrow Win Sees New Zealand Progress At The Expense Of South Africa

The All Blacks of New Zealand managed a tight 20-18 victory over the Springboks of South Africa in Saturday night’s 2015 Rugby World Cup semi-final, sending the defending champions through to the final, which will be played next weekend.

Both teams went into this test with a history of fierce rivalry in mind, and the rain in London’s Twickenham Stadium added am element of uncertainty to the encounter.

The first half went the way of South Africa, as the Springboks did well to put pressure on the tournament favourites, and the All Blacks seemed visibly rattled as they trailed at half time.

An early try from Jerome Kaino saw the All Blacks on the front foot, but a physical and determined Springbok side managed to keep the New Zealand players at bay while excellent kicking from Handre Pollard saw the Springboks maintain a five-point lead at the half.

This changed in the second half, as the finalists emerged from the dressing room with a new mentality that saw them take the game to South Africa.

A Boden Barret try allowed the All Blacks to retake the lead, along with excellent kicking from Dan Carter which included a clever drop kick.

South Africa continued to defend very well, but they were unable to create any serious try-scoring opportunities, with most of the time spent defending in their own half, but Pollard kept the pressure on New Zealand with his kicking.

With the score at 20-15 and time running out, Pollard was forced to leave the field with a back injury, and Patrick Lambie replaced him, adding one further penalty to bring the score to 20-18.

The South Africans continued to push for the win, but a seasoned All Blacks team kept them under pressure in their own half, and eventually a knock on ended the encounter, sending New Zealand on to face the winner of Sunday’s semi-final between Australia and Argentina.