All Blacks win Rugby Championship with 100% record
South Africa 16 New Zealand 32
New Zealand finished the Rugby Championship with six wins out of six today as they scored 20 answered second-half points to put South Africa to the sword in Johannesburg.
The All Blacks, who had already sealed the title ahead of their opponents, Australia and Argentina, turned a 16-12 half-time deficit into a convincing win.
The visitors ran in four tries, Sam Whitelock, Aaron Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith all crossing, with Dan Carter kicking 11 points, while Bryan Habana got the Springboks’ only try as their kicking failings were again in evidence.
Ahead of the game South Africa captain Jean de Villiers backed rookie fly-half Johan Goosen to handle the pressure, his predecessor Morne Steyn having had a terrible day with the boot when the two sides met in Dunedin three weeks ago when he saw 22 points go begging.
But Goosen did not get off to the best of starts, missing two early penalties, the second rebounding off a post.
The Springboks got the opening try of the match in the 12th minute as Habana took a pass from De Villiers to run in unchallenged.
Goosen this time made no mistake with his kick as the hosts led 7-0.
The fly-half appeared to be finding his range and knocked over a penalty before the All Blacks got on the board in the 25th minute, moving the ball out to the left for Whitelock to race over the line.
Carter missed the conversion, but the visitors soon had their second try, Habana missing an interception attempt and Hosea Gear streaking clear before offloading to Aaron Smith, who scored under the posts.
Carter’s conversion put the All Blacks 12-10 in front.
Elton Jantjies, on for Goosen, knocked over a penalty to put the hosts back in front by one and did it again on the stroke of half-time to make it 16-12 at the break.
The second half was all New Zealand, though, and they started it as they meant to go on, Nonu touching down after the All Blacks attacked straight after the restart and Carter adding the extras.
Jantjies missed two quickfire penalties as the Boks’ kicking problems mounted, and their opponents took advantage with a fourth try in the 52nd minute.
Conrad Smith ghosted through a gap to touch down, with Carter’s conversion making it 26-16 to the All Blacks.
Carter extended his side’s lead with a drop-goal in the 63rd minute.
The hosts were thrown a lifeline when Israel Dagg was sin-binned for slowing down the ball, but the one-way traffic toward the South Africa line continued.
A Carter penalty with nine minutes to go took his tally to 11 and the New Zealand lead to 16, and Aaron Cruden even had time to miss a late three-pointer as the visitors closed out a convincing win.