The Sporting Scoop: Record Win Flatters
The All Blacks may have posted a record 28-0 win over South Africa at Carisbrook, Dunedin, today, but the result could have been very different as the All Blacks struggled at times with basic handling skills.
The first half saw both sides looking nervous with the All Black back line in particular having a bad case of the fumbles as they attempted too many ambitious moves. Both sides showed outstanding defence with covering tackles stopping many tries at the last moment.
Both Christian Cullen and Jeff Wilson went close to scoring as Daryl Gibson punched holes in the Springbok numerous times. However the only points in the first half came from boot of Andrew Mehrtens.
The sloppy play continued in the opening stages of the second half and the All Blacks had to resist some strong pressure.
But in the end fitness, better combinations and skills let the floodgate open in the 55th minute. Taine Randell and Justin Marshall drew in the fullback Percy Montgomery and Mehrtens placed a perfect chip kick into the space where Montgomery should have been for Christian Cullen, to gather and score under the posts. Cullen generally had a blinder of a day.
Then the arrival of Jonah Lomu off the bench had an immediate impact as he produced the storming run of the match beating at least four players before he was dragged out a metre short be a swarm of desperate Springboks.
From the following line out Josh Kronfeld charged down a kick, the ball was sent wide and Cullen passed the ball in tackle to put Jeff Wilson home.
Justin Marshall broke from the back of a maul and sprinted 30m for an easy final try against a dispirited South African side .
The Springboks face the Wallabies at