New Zealand 31-17 South Africa, Tri-Nations, Wellington
McCaw savours Wellington win
July 17, 2010
Richie McCaw takes pleasure in overcoming South Africa for a second time © Getty Images
New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was delighted his side followed up their opening day victory in the Tri-Nations with another impressive win over rivals South Africa.
The All Blacks took a firm grip on this year's tournament with a 31-17 win at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Ma'a Nonu, Mils Muliaina, Rene Ranger and Israel Dagg all crossed for the All Blacks as they secured back-to-back bonus point victories after last weekend's 32-12 in Auckland.
And McCaw was pleased with the way his team stood up to the physical challenge of a wounded and aggressive South Africa side.
"I'm really proud of the boys," he said. "It's always easy to put one performance out there but to back it up tonight I'm very happy. The Boks certainly came to play and it was pretty physical out there.
"Defence can be a difference we had to defend pretty hard there and turn over the ball a couple of times and getting down the other end and score is what you've got to do in these games. When you're playing against the best in the world that's where you test yourself. To have two wins and two pretty good performances, we're very happy."
All Blacks coach Graham Henry stressed that his side's bold approach and willingness to run the ball from deep, despite the conditions and intense occasion, had gained its rewards. While he also revealed that their recent form owed much to their adaptation to the new law interpretations.
"We were prepared to play rugby from a fair way out from the goal line and were prepared to attack from our own half and that resulted in a couple of tries," Henry told AFP. "The new interpretation of the tackle law has changed the game a lot. It allows you to get continuity of possession and to build to score points and the guys did that exceptionally well."
However, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers called on the officials and lawmakers to show greater consistency in their interpretation of the breakdown as he reacted angrily to the defeat.
"I'm frustrated at the moment," he told AFP. "We've played now six (Tests this year) and in six games we've had six different types of plays on the ground. We've got the same skills as last year when we won the Tri-Nations, we're used to playing with the new interpretations in the Super 14 and now in the six games we've played the law was a bit different on the ground.
"Because I don't like to prepare guys to cheat and it seems to me that's the only way going forward if you want to be on top of those kind of things and that's 70 percent of your game."
The Springboks again counted the cost of some indiscipline with Danie Rossouw yellow-carded early in the first half. The lock bounced back to notch a try just before the break and flanker Schalk Burger also crossed for the visitors but captain John Smit admitted the sin binning had harmed his team again.
"You can't afford to lose a man that early against a team like the All Blacks," he said. "It doesn't make life any easier having that sort of handicap. I was happy with the effort out there today. We dominated the set piece . We won all our ball and some of their ball.
"We were much better in our lines and kept the ball, but we just weren't allowed too much fast ball. As I said, it is going to be once again difficult to analyse ourselves on a 14-man effort. We conceded two tries during that time [whilst down to 14 men]. It's a disappointing result but we brought a lot more to the table today.
He added: "I am looking forward to the first game where we can actually judge ourselves on a 15-man effort."