After a nail-biting match the Springboks managed to stave off the All Black’s last ditch surge, and won what might as well have been the Tri Nations finals, 32 – 29 to claim the Tri Nations 2009 trophy.
When the South Africans conceded a penalty after just a minute and half of play and the New Zealanders pounced on the scoring opportunity to chalk up 3 points, I had flashes of Brisbane. 4 minutes later the Springboks got awarded a penalty of their own to equalise at 3 all, wiping my doubts.
The Bokke continued and opened up a lead they wouldn’t again relinquish and closed off the first half with a 22-12 lead.
The Springboks stood their ground in the 2nd half and opened up their lead to 17 points. The All Blacks upped their game and in a particularly brilliant moment where the ball was passed in quick succession by overlapping players, they even looked like the All Blacks we fear-but-love.
Dying Minutes Action
And sure enough, their spirited attack paid dividends – hell, they even managed to win their own line-outs and steal 1 from the Springboks.
With minutes left and the All Blacks within 10 points of the Springboks, Dan Carter kicked from wide over on the left of the field placing the ball perfectly at the flag on far right of the field, where Richie McCaw literally stood waiting, picked it from the air and landed it in the corner with not a Bok in sight.
A move so brilliant, that as much as we hated it happening, the Springbok supporters had to applaud it for its sheer brilliance and flawless execusion.
With very few minutes remaining and the Springbok lead shrunk to only 3, the game became almost unbearable, every second feeling like a minute, slowly ticking towards full time. T All Blacks relentlessly pounded the Springbok defense, trying to punch a hole. When the game time ran out the All Blacks had possession and in an all-or-nothing gamble Dan Carter tried to recreate the previous try, this time kicking from the far right of the field to the left.
2 metres from the Springbok try line 2 All Black players were ready. In slow motion the ball tumbled through the air. But luck was not on the All Black side and the ball went over the players head, just out of reach, and into touch.
The referee’s end-whistle was absolute bliss – the score fixed at 32-29 and the Springboks, bloody, but victorious and the Tri Nations 2009 champions.
Well done, Bokke!
Scored for the Springboks
- Fourie Du Preez – 5 pts (try);
- Jean De Villiers – 5 pts (try);
- Morne Styen – 13 pts (2 conversions, 2 penalties, 1 drop goal);
- Francois Steyn – 9 pts (3 penalties)
Scored for the All Blacks
- Sitiveni Sivivatu: 5 pts (try);
- Richie McCaw 5 pts (try);
- Daniel Carter 19 pts (2 conversions, 5 penalties);
With 1 games left in the 2009 Tri-Nations Tournament
Opportunities to score more points:
|Lose||1 (if score difference is 7 or less)|
|Bonus||1 (for scoring 4 tries or more in a game)|
|18 Jul||All Blacks vs Wallabies||Auckland, NZ||19:35||22 – 16||4 – 1|
|25 Jul||Springboks vs All Blacks||Bloemfontein, SA||17:00||28 – 19||4 – 0|
|1 Aug||Springboks vs All Blacks||Durban, SA||17:00||31 – 19||4 – 0|
|8 Aug||Springboks vs Wallabies||Cape Town, SA||17:00||29 – 17||4 – 0|
|22 Aug||Wallabies vs All Blacks||Sydney, AU||20:05||18 – 19||1 – 4|
|29 Aug||Wallabies vs Springboks||Perth, AU||18:05||25 – 32||1 – 5|
|5 Sep||Wallabies vs Springboks||Brisbane, AU||20:05||21 – 6||4 – 0|
|12 Sep||All Blacks vs Springboks||Hamilton, NZ||19:35||29 – 31||1 – 4|
|19 Sep||All Blacks vs Wallabies||Wellington, NZ||19:35||–||–|
Now all that remains is for the All Blacks to meet Australia in Wellington next week to see who will be the official loser of the 2009 Tri Nations.