ibusinesslines.com October 21, 2018

All Blacks make epic comeback to beat South Africa

09 October 2018, 02:00 | Charlene Valdez

All Blacks captain Kieran Read

All Blacks captain Kieran Read

"We have every confidence he will do well with the operation and like any fracture it will probably take about three months for the bone to get strong and we'll take it step by step", Page told journalists.

"But the team that upset us in Wellington had outstanding players across the board and I am sure they will be in a good space mentally for the Pretoria Test".

Flanker Sam Cane will miss the All Blacks tour of Japan and Europe after suffering a broken neck during their win over South Africa.

"There was always plenty of time on the clock, even though we were down by 17 points, there was always time on the clock for us to get back into the game".

Cane was expected to be out of action for at least three months, but Hansen said they would not hurry his return to the field with an eye on next year's Rugby World Cup.

It seemed nearly surreal that South Africa were dominating territory and possession against the world champions and Pollard kicked another penalty on 13 minutes for a six-point lead.

Tries from Jesse Kriel and Damian de Allende early in the second half put the hosts in command and Cheslin Kolbe added a third after Aaron Smith had touched down at the other end, Pollard taking his tally with the boot to 15 points.

What happened next was vintage New Zealand as they dug deep and powered over the whitewash, with Mo'unga holding his nerve with the last kick of the game to snatch a remarkable 32-30 victory.

Down 23-6, New Zealand responded with a score by scrumhalf Aaron Smith, against the run of play but taken with clinical efficiency when hooker Codie Taylor made the first clean break of the game for the New Zealanders and Smith, running in support, ensured it wasn't wasted.

The All Blacks came into match having already won this tournament but they were not reckless in their application and game management and they finished their season on a high note having only lost one match the entire competition. "But I'm proud of the way the team is growing".

The difference in the Pretoria game ultimately came after both sides had emptied their benches, with New Zealand able to raise their intensity and the Boks battling to contain them with less experience on the pitch.

"I really thought we handled them well tactically and physically for 72 minutes".

For New Zealand, it was a victory as satisfying as clinching the Rugby Championship title itself. "Sometimes when you keep knocking on the door someone will open it and you can get in‚" advised Hansen.

"Everybody who watched tonight ... some will be disappointed, but they can't be disappointed in the rugby that was played".

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