Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Spirited Springboks come within inches of an All Black upset

Caleb Timi crashes through a tackle Caleb Timi crashes through a tackle
Lillian Steele | 09 October, 2017, 00:44

South Africa's veteran prop Tendai Mtawarira will miss their test against New Zealand in the Rugby Championship on Saturday for unspecified "family reasons", coach Allister Coetzee said on Thursday.

Whitelock, Cane, Squire and Crotty all slotted back into the starting lineup for tomorrow's clash in Cape Town, with the team essentially the same one that destroyed the Springboks 57-0 in Auckland last month.

"Obviously I'm pleased any time we win - it's easier on the ticker when you win 57-0 - but it gives you greater pleasure when it's a real contest, and both sides played well tonight", Hansen told a media conference.

New Zealand's tries came from Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane and Damian McKenzie while Ross Cronje, Jean-Luc du Preez and Malcolm Marx scored for the home side. The way the players have trained this past week, the way we've committed to one another has come through in this performance.

The Boks put on a much improved team performance and, for the first time in three years, showed why they are widely considered as the world champions' fiercest rivals.

The champs also came through after losing playmaker Beauden Barrett to a head knock midway through the first half, and unsafe winger Nehe Milner-Skudder to a dislocated right shoulder at the end of the half. "But working for the mate next to you; that is something you can not coach and that makes me so proud to see how they play for each other".

"We'll enjoy the end of the championship".

"Whilst we've left some people out that people might've thought might have got a game, or we could've given someone else a rest, there's a bigger picture and we know where we're going with the rest and stuff". "They always turn up when we play them in this country".

"For 2019 (Rugby World Cup) we need world class players". Very good teams find a way to win and New Zealand again did this at Newlands.

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