All Blacks Pull Off Last Minute Victory, Wrap Up Tri Nations Title

The New Zealand All Blacks clinched their tenth Tri Nations Tournament in front of over 90,000 rugby fans at FNB Stadium (formerly “Soccer City”) in Soweto, South Africa on Saturday in an exciting 29-22 comeback thanks to tries by All Black captain and flanker Richie McCaw and back Israel Dagg in the last two minutes of play.  

Playing in hostile territory, in front of one of a raucous crowd cheering on their Springboks, the All Blacks had to regain their focus after being called for offenses at four breakdowns in the first 20 minutes of play and finding themselves down 13-6 as a result of penalties.

Coming into the game, the All Blacks were one point away from claiming the title, which – barring a catastrophic breakdown in the rest of the tournament – made winning the Tri Nations almost academic. But it was anything but for the Kiwis.

According to All Black coach Graham Henry, as quoted in The Guardian:

“I just felt so proud of what they’ve achieved. The character, backed by their guts and togetherness was superb. So I think it was a very special win by the All Blacks, an outstanding result and something we will never forget as far as we’re concerned.”

The loss is the fourth in a row for the Springboks, who have to be wondering when they are finally going to hit the bottom of the well and start working their way back up.  Currently they are 0-4 in the Tri Nations, having lost to New Zealand twice in New Zealand and the Saturday’s loss at home, with one loss to Australia, who they face next.   Should the Springboks walk away from the tournament with one win, or winless, we have to wonder what their mindset will be going into their European tour, with the Rugby World Cup just over a year away.

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