How South Africa beat New Zealand’s All Blacks in the opening of the rugby championship

New Zealand were run by South Africa with a 26-10 win in the first game of the 2022 rugby championship. For the fourth time in punting history, the All Blacks fell behind by around 3 points, but until the end game seemed like 3 points would be all they would score.

The Springboks led a powerful play and didn’t miss a beat despite losing nine star Faf de Klerk in the first minute after trying to bend Caleb Clark’s colossal knee.

Arguably, Jaden Hendrickse then beat the best scrum-half of the last ten years: Aaron Smith.

Smith was not to blame. The All Blacks lost the scrum battle (4-1 on penalties, as Angus Gardner was not in the mood to forgive slips and missed attacks). This kept them trapped in their half in the first half. Frans Malherbe continued his record for winning tightheads: he is more-34 in his career on penalties won / lost.

Guests also missed the break, with Malcolm Marx at 50 dominant but supported by Lukhanyo Am, a spirited Pieter-Steph du Toit, and a massive clean of the locks that dominated the pitch: Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager.

The game was almost lost before the All Blacks conquered enough territory in the second half to build red zone stages. The Boks played old school rugby in Mbombela, hard, straight and strong.

Lukhanyo Am of South Africa during the rugby league match between South Africa and New Zealand at Mbombela Stadium on August 06, 2022 in Nelspruit, South Africa.  (Photo by Dirk Kotze / Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Lukhanyo Am of South Africa during the rugby league match between South Africa and New Zealand. (Photo by Dirk Kotze / Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Handre Pollard and Hendrickse thought of the kiwi kickers who seemed to find the Bok back three and more times in space, from where Damian Willemse easily blocked the smothered All Blacks in their own half. Against a frenetic high line from Bok, with defenders behind the line chasing loose balls and passes, the All Blacks simply couldn’t throw from deep, except for a pause or two. Contrasts with the Boks’ shoelaces or cover scramble saved the day until a man, Caleb Clarke finally approached and a fresh Shannon Frizzell was rewarded for chasing.

It was a game of squeezing. It was a scorpion, dangerous, but put in a bottle and never came out.

The All Blacks simply needed more Ardie Saveas. Carry seemed useless in the green wall.

But the most impressive advantage besides Bok’s starting front row (4-0 on penalties) was the aerial battle. The All Blacks called Clarke against the diminutive Kurt-Lee Arendse, but the KLA was on fire, taking smart angles around All Black Shepherds and high ball guards. According to the latest count, the sky went in favor of the Boks 8-2.

The first really meager defeat resulted in a brilliant Bok try, with Am clever in finding the scraps and feeding an Arendse who had knocked a 6 foot 5 foot Jordie Barrett shocked bullet into the air.

Releases were scarce from the All Blacks, they lost the air battle throughout the game, their haka wasn’t convincing and Ellis Park is taller, bigger and louder.

Bok’s defense is very, very high and he makes crazy forays (PDST, Marx, the nines and Etzebeth all have a license to wander off the defensive line).

Barrett doesn’t seem as comfortable as Mo’unga against this setup, but to be fair, his midfield was badly beaten by de Allende and Am, so Barrett was tempted to join Savea in “hero ball”.

The good points: Jason Ryan’s maul defense was better, until the second half, when the All Blacks seemed to be getting more tired than the Boks, disturbing for next week.

The biggest problems are these:

1. How can New Zealand cross the profit line?
2. What are their two best Scrum props?
3. How can they maintain good territory if they don’t know the answers to 1 and 2?
4. Why are there so few variations on reboots?
5. Who can bring the most speed and power into freedom to help Savea?
6. Is Dog Playing Well Enough To Warrant His Place?
7. Who can restore calm urgency?

It was fitting and very cool to see Willemse, who has now replaced his mentor, and beloved teammate, Willie le Roux, celebrate with sheer glee as “Spiders” pounce on another All Black free pass to score close. to the poles and be embraced by a nation.

26-10 seems right, but 19-3 would have been exactly right. It was a suffocation.

From the Irish series, the All Blacks have made changes but it made no difference.

Marx loves playing the All Blacks. His 4.5 turnovers, hard transports, big tackles and punctual pitches were huge.

It was a massive performance by the Boks. Not beautiful, uplifting or Michelin star like the Irish one, but a great braai of juicy meat and brandy.

The strangely misplaced All Blacks continue a bad season (by their standards) and perhaps even more so than against the Irish, they may simply not come into play.

Nothing seemed to work except that the line cuts off with 50-50 balls of money. Bok’s tacklers supported New Zealand and went deep, not just getting up and back in the line.

At the end of the game, always honest Cane admitted: “We absorbed him in the first half but he took away a lot. The game of football, the contenders, probably won that too. And the collapse “.

In a test against the Boks, that’s usually all it takes to lose.

Towards Johannesburg.