Monday, September 14, 2009

All Black - Springbok Face Off




VS






This past Saturday the South African Springboks traveled to Hamilton New Zealand to play in what would turn out to be the game to decide the Tri Nations Rugby T
ournament. The event was held in the Waikato Stadium, home of the Chiefs and Waikato Rugby teams.

Throughout the weeks build up to the game there were several news reports spreading the news that the Springboks were not going to stay in Hamilton until the game as "there is nothing to do" Peter De' Villiers (Pompous Springbok Coach). However the All Blacks were more than happy to stay and train in the Waikato Stadium until the game, an open training session was held on the Monday of last week so that fans could watch and meet their favorite players in person.

I would be telling the truth if I said that this was the biggest game in Waikato Stadium history. The All blacks had a lot to live up to, they would be hoping to follow in the footsteps of the Wallabies side that crucified the springboks 21- 6 in the previous week to keep their chances of a 5 time winning streak at the Tri Nations. Daniel Carter would also bring some inspiration to the team with his first home game in the Tri Nations this year.

There was also various players playing out of their normal positions including Stephen Donald (playing at 12) and Ma'a Nonu (at 13), the reasoning for this was the absence of Conrad Smith and Richard Kahui through injury.

All that aside the game was a great atmosphere with fireworks, fire and dance pieces from both of the respective countries. When the game finally kicked off the All Blacks took the early lead with the Springboks conceding a penalty instantaneously from the kick off, Daniel Carter slotted it over with ease to put the All Blacks in the lead. The South Africans replied soon after though with Fran├žois Steyn smashing a monster penalty from 60 meters out! instantly following this he kicked another from about 57 meters and yet another from about 51. Soon the Springboks were comfortably in the lead after Fourie Du Preez scored an excellent try in the 19th minute. From then it never looked pretty with Jean De' Villiers's intercepting a poorly judged pass from Daniel Carter to score in the 50th minute, everything was falling apart until Sitivini Sivivatu scored and then Richie McCaw did the same from a cross kick in the 78th minute. The All Blacks tried this tactic again in the last play but Daniel Carter overcooked it and sent it flying into touch ending the game and handing the South Africans the Tournament and the Tri Nations Trophy. Final score; 32-29 Springboks.