All Blacks sweep Springboks aside
July 30, 2011
Wing Zac Guildford slides over during New Zealand's win over South Africa
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Defending champions New Zealand opened their Tri-Nations campaign with a predictably straightforward 40-7 victory over an under-strength South Africa side in Wellington on Saturday.
The All Blacks scored six tries in total, including two each for Cory Jane and Zac Guildford, while fly-half Dan Carter regained the world Test points scoring record despite struggling in tricky kicking conditions.
In fact the margin of victory would have been much greater had Carter been more accurate with his boot, but it was nevertheless an encouraging win ahead of next week's clash with Australia at Eden Park. In his first kicking act of the game in the third minute, Carter passed the world record of 1,195 points held by England's Jonny Wilkinson by landing a penalty goal, although he then missed his next three attempts in the first half.
His South African counterpart Morne Steyn was not so fortunate and broke a sequence of 49 kicks in Tri-Nations rugby without a miss when attempting to land a 42-metre goal in the fourth minute.
New Zealand began to stamp their authority after 12 minutes when Jimmy Cowan, fed by Adam Thomson, ran through a big gap and linked with a backhand pass to Ma'a Nonu. The ball moved to Jane on the right, but as play moved back left two or three rucks saw the ball moved, again by Cowan, to centre Conrad Smith who fed Wyatt Crocket over in the corner.
Then, from the restart, Ali Williams found space and the ball was moved to Carter, who slipped a kick through. Nonu elbowed his way past several South Africa defenders, regained the ball and set up a ruck, which saw Carter get the ball and run before slipping a pass to Guildford, who raced 40 metres to score his first Test try.
The Springboks finally got themselves on the board on the half hour. Mistakes by the All Blacks saw the ball kicked to the corner after a penalty conceded by captain Richie McCaw. South Africa opted not to take the kick for goal and had their reward when captain John Smit drove over for the try beneath the posts, with Steyn adding the conversion.
But minutes later New Zealand stretched their lead to 18-7 with a long pass from Cowan which found Jane. He stepped inside three defenders and then raced 40 metres to score.
The All Blacks added another before the interval. It began with an uncontrolled pass from Cowan to the right flank, but the bounce favoured Jane and he crossed to score. Carter then landed his first conversion of the match to give the home side a 25-7 half-time advantage.
Carter slotted another penalty early in the second period, before New Zealand created their fifth try after 66 minutes. Thomson and Nonu were both involved in the build-up before the ball was laid off to Mils Muliaina, who in turn fed Guildford into a gap for an easy canter over. The rout was then completed nine minutes from time. More innovative running allowed Colin Slade to dot down with Carter once more adding the extras.
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