All Blacks Edge Boks for Finals Showdown with Australia
The New Zealand All Blacks have beaten South Africa’s Springboks 20-18 in the Rugby World Cup semi-final in England on Saturday.
“In an atmosphere thick with tension at Twickenham, the All Blacks clung to their two-point lead for the last 12 minutes and stayed on course to become the first team to win consecutive Rugby World Cups”, writes Foster Niumata for the Toronto Star.
“The intensity, the physicality, and what both teams threw at each other was right up there,” said Richie McCaw, All Blacks captain.
“You look back on a game like today, and giving yourself a chance to make a World Cup final, and it’s pretty satisfying.”
The New Zealand team scored two tries (Jerome Kaino, Beauden Barrett) and had the majority of possession and territory, “but their ill-discipline gave the Springboks six kicked penalties”, according to the article.
“The All Blacks trailed 12-7 at halftime, but showed their desire to leave no stone unturned during the halftime break when they came out of their dressing room early and went through running and passing exercises on the field in the rain.
“Great performances don’t always look the same, but we enjoy them,” said Hansen.
“Today was a special occasion.”
“Give the All Blacks credit, we had a few discipline issues and with a man down to restrict us from scoring, they showed their status as the number one side in the world,” said Bryan Habana, South Africa wing as reported on BBC.com.
“We let ourselves down in some areas in the second half, but full credit to New Zealand for keeping possession with 14 men.
“They are world class and deserve to be in the final.”
New Zealand will face Australia in next week’s final in Twickenham in their quest to become the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
Article Source: Toronto Star, Foster Niumata, October 24, 2015 and BBC.com.
Image Source: Twitter – Rugby World Cup