Mon, Aug 28, 2006 - Page 18 News List

All Blacks bully 'Boks at home

FORTRESS LOFTUS?The hapless Springboks were unable to prevent a rampant New Zealand team from advancing to its fifth-straight win of the tournament

AFP , PRETORIA

New Zealand flyhalf and man of the match Daniel Carter evades the Springbok defense during the Tri-Nations rugby game against South Africa at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday.

PHOTO: EPA

Tri-Nations champions New Zealand scored 29 second-half points to maintain their unbeaten record this year when they downed South Africa 45-26 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The New Zealanders ran in five tries after conceding an 11-3 lead to the Springboks inside the first 10 minutes. The 'Boks were again completely outplayed and had it not been for two late tries to 'Bok center Jaque Fourie the score would have been a lot worse.

Also, the visitors failed to capitalize on two great try-scoring opportunities when replacement Isaia Toeava knocked the ball on in the first half, once with the tryline beckoning.

It was the home side's fifth straight defeat this season and with matches to come against the All Blacks next weekend and Australia the week after, there is the real possibility of Jake White's team not winning a single game in this year's expanded competition. They currently have only one bonus point.

The visitors killed off the game in 12 minutes in the second period when Luke McAlister, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Mils Muliaina went in for tries.

"It took us a bit of time to get used to the conditions [at altitude] but once the guys had settled down they got their second wind and scored some great tries," New Zealand coach Graham Henry said.

"We're delighted with the win. Once the guys got going I thought they played superbly," he said.

The All Blacks were rocked early on when prop Greg Somerville (Achilles) and fullback Leon MacDonald (hip) had to leave the field injured. The change in personnel however never disrupted the team's rhythm.

Chris Masoe (ankle) and Reuben Thorne (thumb) also picked up injuries.

Captain Richie McCaw praised his team's composure after going down to a try by Fourie du Preez and two penalty goals early on.

"We were guilty of a couple of mistakes in the early stages, but my players never panicked and kept their composure. I think there's a lot of belief in this team when they can do that," he said.

A disappointed Springbok coach Jake White admitted his team allowed the free-running All Blacks far too much space.

"We had a great start, but simply didn't capitalize on our field position when we were on the boil," White said. "We allowed them too much room and space and that worries me the most."

Captain John Smit concurred.

"We failed to look after our ball. Every time we made a mistake the All Blacks threw two passes and scored under the posts. It was very frustrating," he said.

White added the absence of Bakkies Botha, Schalk Burger and Juan Smith -- all players out through injury -- was telling.

"They play a major role in our defensive strategy and alignment and we missed them today. But every player has a responsibility when he wears the 'Bok jersey and we just didn't execute well enough," he said.

All Black flyhalf Dan Carter and captain McCaw were again instrumental in a number of their team's moves.

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