All Blacks vs Springboks: Rugby Championship live score updates
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New Zealand Vs. South Africa
2012 Rugby Championship, 16 September, 2012
|Forsyth Barr Stadium, University Plaza, Dunedin|
|New Zealand 21 defeated South Africa 11|
|New Zealand||South Africa|
|Referee: G Clancy|
|Touch judges: R Poite & J Leckie|
The All Blacks can place one hand on the inaugural Rugby Championship trophy with a win over the Springboks at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight. We’ll have live scores from 5.35pm AEST.
It might have been a vastly different game to the two swashbuckling victories over the Wallabies, but the All Blacks’ 21-5 win over Argentina last weekend was no less impressive.
The Pumas served up a typically physical challenge to the reigning world champions in difficult conditions, and the All Blacks responded with consummate professionalism.
It is why they line up tonight as short favourites against fierce rivals South Africa.
The Springboks began their Rugby Championship campaign in style, overpowering the tournament debutant Pumas 27-6 in Cape Town, but since then they’ve had a more difficult time of it.
The return leg to Argentina yielded a 16-16 draw and threw away a 13-3 lead against the Wallabies in Perth last weekend, eventually going down 26-19.
Should they lose a third consecutive road game tonight they could go as many as ten points behind the All Blacks in the tournament standings, effectively ending their chances of winning the Rugby Championship with only two matches remaining.
Not that the Springboks are without their excuses. Injuries to a cast of key starting XV members have wrecked their campaign and they’ll be without the likes of Schalk Burger, Bismarck du Plessis, and JP Pietersen tonight.
For the home side, flyhalf Dan Carter hasn’t recovered from a calf strain and will be replaced by Aaron Cruden while Richard Kahui is also unavailable and will be placed by Julian Savea on the wing.
If the Springboks are going to come anywhere near a victory tonight they will need to start by winning or at least breaking even at the breakdown. McCaw and Messam have been immense in this tournament so far and without the services of Schalk Burger it could be a torrid time for the visitors.
The Springboks might be able to take some confidence from previous Tri Nations performances in Dunedin, having beaten the All Blacks at Carisbrook in 2008, and narrowly losing 31-27 at the same venue three years earlier.
But with the All Blacks juggernaut well and truly rolling it is difficult to envisage a similiarly tight contest here. There is little doubt the Springboks will turn up to play, but one wonders whether they have the artillery to hurt the best side in the world at the moment.
Can the Springboks stay with the All Blacks, or will it be four from four for Steve Hansen’s men? Find out from 5.35pm AEST.
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