All Blacks power past Springboks in Wellington
July 20, 2002
Justin Marshall dives in to score in the corner
© Getty Images
John Mitchell's All Blacks side made it two wins out of two in this year's Tri Nations with a 41-20 victory over the Springboks in Wellington.
In a fast, exciting first half, a penalty conceded by the Spingboks after two minutes gave the All Blacks a three-point lead. Lovely side-stepping by Werner Greeff brought the Boks a try after five minutes, which Andre Pretorius converted to put the visitors ahead 7-3.
Six minutes later, another penalty widened the Boks' lead to 10-3. An outstanding penalty kick from Andrew Merhtens from far out then brought New Zealand back to 10-6. Greeff could not be stopped and his drop goal stretched South Africa's lead to 13-6.
However, things then turned around for the All Blacks with Doug Howlett dotting down the first try for New Zealand, set up by great play from scrumhalf Justin Marshall. Another outstanding penalty goal from Merhtens then put the All Blacks level at 13-13 after 20 minutes.
After an easy penalty kick for Merhtens hits the posts, Mark Hammett barged over to make it 18-13 less than five minutes before half-time. Another Mehrtens penalty seconds later ensured the All Blacks enjoyed a 21-13 lead at the break.
Three minutes into the second half, an impressive little drive from lock Chris Jack was converted into a drop goal by Merhtens to make the score 21-13. Shortly after that a loose ball 70m out was scooped up by the All Blacks. Some good controlling work by replacement centre Tana Umaga allowed flank and captain Reuben Thorne to score the third try for the hosts, which was converted by Merhtens to make it 31-13.
Then the momentum swung back to South Africa, with No.13 Marius Joubert taking advantage of a freak bounce dropped by Umaga to score. Andre Pretorius converted to bring the Boks closer at 31-20.
Now the game was on, with the All Blacks piling on the pressure. Scoring his 22nd test try, Marshall crossed between the posts to make the score 36-20. The wild northerly wind blew the ball off the kicking mound and a quick drop kick by Mertehns went wide.
Twelve minutes before full-time, a penalty was given to the All Blacks metres from the try-line and Marshall picked up a big lineout take from Jack, handing it to Scott Robertson to make the final score 41-20.
NEW ZEALAND Tries: Howlett, Hammett, Thorne, Marshall, Robertson Cons: Mehrtens 2 cons, 3 pens, 1 drop goal SOUTH AFRICA Tries: Greeff, Joubert Cons: Pretorius 1 con, 1 pen, Greeff 1 drop goal
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