Boks avoid Tri-Nations whitewash with PE win

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Durban - The Springboks recorded their first Tri-Nations victory in 2011 after defeating the All Blacks in Port Elizabeth.

The defending world champions fought hard for a 18-5 win against an All Blacks 'B' side that missed their regular captain Richie McCaw and superstar Dan Carter.

Morne Steyn made an excellent case for a World Cup spot, scoring all 18 points for the Boks. Steyn kicked five penalties and a drop goal. Only three points were added to the South African scorecard in the second half.

The All Blacks scored the only try of the match just five minutes before the end of the first half. Richard Kahui touched down for the All Blacks and with Colin Slade failing to convert, they stayed with just five points until the final whistle was blown.

The Boks were put to work from early moments into the game, with the All Blacks going on the attack immediately.

Bryan Habana's splendid tackle prevented Jimmy Cowan from drawing first blood while Jaque Fourie took care off another scare for the South Africans. The All Blacks did have more possession but this did not reflect on the scorecard.

South Africa tightened their defence as the game progressed. Man-of-the-match Heinrich Brussow literally bled for his country with an outstanding performance and had to receive medical treatment.

Springbok coach Peter De Villiers relieved with the win said, "The victory was a just reward for the hard work that we were able to put in a very short space of time".

He believes the Boks are back on track and was impressed with their line-outs.

He also praised his men for giving their all in this game. "I must also pay tribute to the character of this Bok team, especially when you have guys like Victor (Matfield) and Heinrich (Brussouw) who picked up injuries in the second half and then carried on playing," said De Villiers.

He added: "I also want to say that I'm grateful to the people of Port Elizabeth for their support. This win will do us good, and the people will start believing in us again".

The All Blacks now head for Brisbane and a title decider against the Wallabies.

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