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We mocked them as a vulnerable rabble ... but NZ have ANOTHER title!

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The All Blacks (Getty)
The All Blacks (Getty)

Eventually, both the All Blacks and Springboks pulled away in the previously rollercoaster 2022 Rugby Championship ... reminding the planet less than a year from the French-staged World Cup that they're still the most credible southern hemisphere challengers for it.

Both heavyweight nations won their last three matches in the four-country tournament, explaining why it all came down to an advanced stage of the closing fixture at Kings Park for the destination of the trophy - Australia and Argentina already goners - to be determined.

It is history now that, with the margin of the Bok victory over the Pumas not quite enough, it stayed in the Land of the Long White Cloud - and that's not too bad for a side believed by many at the outset (including no lack of takers in South Africa) to be ripe for the plucking.

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