All Blacks trounce Boks

2011-07-30 10:35

Wellington, New Zealand – Flyhalf Dan Carter reclaimed the international point-scoring record from England’s Jonny Wilkinson, kicking 10 points as New Zealand thrashed South Africa 40-7 in a Tri-Nations Test today.

Carter came into the match with 1 194 Test points – one behind Wilkinson’s tally on 1 195 – and seized the world record with his first penalty after only two minutes.

He ended the match with 1 204 points, nine points ahead of Wilkinson, with whom he will battle for the record at the World Cup later this year.

The All Blacks and England flyhalves have exchanged the record in recent northern and southern hemisphere seasons: Carter had it at the end of New Zealand’s tour to Britain last November but Wilkinson reclaimed it during this season’s Six Nations tournament.

Carter’s goalkicking was below par in windy conditions today – he landed four from eight attempts – but he was a perpetual attacking threat, tearing gaping holes in the defence of a depleted and generally inept Springboks line-up.

Winger Cory Jane outshone Carter in the match, making a brilliant international comeback and pressing his case for World Cup selection by scoring two tries.

Jane was omitted from New Zealand’s initial Tri-Nations squad after a poor Super Rugby season and missed its opening Test of the year against Fiji last week with a compound dislocation of a finger.

But, named today to play his 23rd Test and his first since October last year, Jane nudged his way into World Cup contention amid crowded competition for outside backs places.

He scored a sensational 33rd-minute try to help the All Blacks to an 18-7 lead by halftime and added another five minutes into the second spell to clinch New Zealand’s four-try bonus point and its largest winning margin against the Springboks in a home Test.

“I think the boys will be pretty happy,” All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said. “We obviously wanted to take a step up from last week (against Fiji) and we knew we had to against the Boks.

“I think the physicality went up a notch. I think we played pretty well in patches. There’s still a bit to work on but the intensity was there and there were a lot of good signs of what we worked on during the week.”

Jane played on New Zealand’s right wing. Left-winger Zac Guildford also scored two tries. He claimed his first in Test matches in the 15th minute, two minutes after his Canterbury Crusaders teammate, prop Wyatt Crockett, had also scored his first try in Tests.

The quick double from Crocket and Guildford lifted New Zealand to a 13-0 lead after 15 minutes and gave it an ascendancy South Africa was unable to overcome.

Jane made a try from nothing in the 33rd, receiving the ball almost on halfway then using his acceleration and swerve to beat Springboks captain John Smit, then Steyn on a weaving, solo run to the line.

His second try and Guildford’s second broadened the All Blacks’ lead to 33-7 after 65 minutes, then Guildford provided the last pass in a set move which created a try for replacement Colin Slade in the 70th minute.

South Africa made the bold but ill-fated decision to move 20-year-old Patrick Lambie to flyhalf after he was initially named to start a Test for the first time at fullback, and to move seasoned No. 10 Morne Steyn from flyhalf to fullback.

The move was a tactical failure in the first half. Lambie wasn’t able to ignite the Springboks’ attack, which relied on shreds of possession usually garnered under pressure, and Steyn was a brittle last line of defence.

The All Blacks opened up the Springboks’ defence in the first half with kicks behind the backline which Steyn was often hard-pressed to retrieve.

They also ran big men at Lambie from set pieces and though the youngster tackled bravely, he was pressured by wave after wave of attackers.

The Springboks scored their only try after 29 minutes through their veteran captain Smit, whose 104 Test caps outnumbered the combined Tests of almost all of his current crop of teammates.

South Africa chose to leave 21 frontline players at home during the Australian and New Zealand matches of its Tri-Nations schedule and paid heavily, losing 39-20 to Australia last weekend and to the All Blacks by a margin which eclipsed their previous heaviest loss in New Zealand, by 28-0 in 2003.

“The scoreboard looks pretty ugly,” Smith said. “It’s the age-old rule against these blokes – you turn the ball over and you’re going to pay.

“It’s always terrible to lose, especially against your arch rival the All Blacks and that’s something we’ll have to take in and try to lift our game when we get back home.”

New Zealand 40 (Cory Jane 2, Zac Guildford 2, Wyatt Crockett, Colin Slade tries; Dan Carter 2 conversions, 2 penalties)

South Africa 7 (John Smit try; Morne Steyn conversion). HT: 18-7.

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