Latest All Black Prodigy Damien McKenzie Puts South Africa To The Sword


"We want to finish the Championship on a high note, every test is important for us", Read told a news conference after the All Blacks concluded their preparations for their last game of this year's southern hemisphere championship.

"I feel very sorry for the players because they left everything out there".

South Africa fired back with a try five minutes later through flanker Jean-Luc du Preez but just when you think the All Blacks are on the back foot, they create something out of nothing and score a scintillating try.

The performance had many observers wondering why the Springboks have not played that way in their earlier matches this year. "They never disappoint us, they always turn up when we play them here".

The champs also came through after losing playmaker Beauden Barrett to a head knock midway through the first half, and risky winger Nehe Milner-Skudder to a dislocated right shoulder at the end of the half.

Hansen suggested the team were continuing to progress after an extraordinary 2016 when, with a team in transition, they set a record 18-match winning streak before finally tasting defeat to Ireland in Chicago last November. "They have a massive work ethic".

They did, showing world champion composure to take everything a desperate South Africa could throw at them before replying late with a try by fullback Damian McKenzie and a game-clinching penalty by replacement flyhalf Lima Sopoaga.

Coetzee feels that they are building variety in their play, with tactical kicking part of the plan against New Zealand.

"Saturday is another huge opportunity for us to continue to grow as a team and build on our cohesion".

"We started the second half at the 50-minute mark so we weren't going to muck around, we were going to get the subs on fairly quickly so that is what we did".

"A performance like this must give us belief - the players will get confidence from this".

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