The attacking potency of the All Black backs stifled the Springboks’ surge in Durban on Saturday.
Whilst the hard work done by the forwards up front should not be overlooked, it was the unpredictable attacking prowess of the likes of super sub Aaron Smith and fullback Israel Dagg that broke the Boks’ spirit and kept the All Blacks’ unbeaten run intact.
The coaching staff, set on constant improvement, would be far from pleased with the stuttering performance of their charges, but would take comfort in the composure and leadership skills showed by the senior players to grind out the win.
Whether they fire on two or all cylinders, winning it seems, has become a habit for the men in black.
Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the All Black players.
15 Israel Dagg
Heavily involved and rounded off the opening try by running a great support line. His composure and accurate clearance kicks under pressure was telling and his decision-making spot on.
14 Cory Jane
Aside from his good work on the high ball he was largely anonymous and needs to up his workrate.
13 Conrad Smith
Went off the boil somewhat after last weekend’s excellent display. For a player of his lofty standards and experience, missing two tackles and conceding two penalties will be unacceptable. He made good ground on attack though.
12 Ma'a Nonu
Didn’t make as many metres as his midfield partner but that is to be expected as he plays closer to the action. He did his primary job of crashing over the gainline with aplomb and broke three tackles in the process.
11 Julian Savea
Much like Jane, “The Bus” was content to stand on his wing and wait for the ball to come to him rather than take the initiative.
10 Aaron Cruden
Backed himself on attack, kicked only when the situation demanded it and kicked four-from-six from the tee. Would be disappointed with his two missed tackles.
9 Piri Weepu
Fell flat after his impressive cameo off the bench last weekend. His decision-making was shocking and he was promptly plucked at half time.
8 Kieran Read
Ploughed through his opposite number Duane Vermeulen with one of ten thumping tackles that fired up the All Blacks and resulted in a penalty.
7 Richie McCaw
His inspirational performance was in stark contrast to that of embattled Bok captain Jean de Villiers. His late line-break galvanised his troops and his 12 tackles was the most by any player on the day. He was a menace at the breakdown and a safe target in the line-out. A complete performance.
6 Liam Messam
Struggled to impose himself and get into the game and was outworked by his fellow back rowers.
5 Sam Whitelock
Dropping him to the bench last weekend had the desired effect as he played a starring role in the tight five. There was the brilliant one-handed offload that set up the opening try and a masterclass of line-out play in terms of organisation, safeguarding and contesting (winning three on the Boks’ throw).
4 Luke Romano
Another player who failed to follow up his good performance of last weekend. His workrate was top-notch, as he made eight tackles during his 49-minute hit-out, but he struggled to breach the gainline with ball in hand.
3 Owen Franks
His eight tackles is evidence of his impressive mobility for a front ranker and he went unpunished in the set-piece.
2 Andrew Hore
His inclusion in the starting line-out flopped as his line-out throwing was all over the place.
1 Tony Woodcock
Not the best day at the office for the veteran as he conceded a number of penalties at scrum time as well as at the breakdown.
16 Keven Mealamu (on for Hore, 49th minute)
His fresh legs was just what the doctor ordered but he, too, battled to find his jumpers.
17 Charlie Faumuina (on for Franks,69th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
18 Brodie Retallick (on for Romano, 49th minute)
Has two takes and four tackles to show from his cameo.
19 Victor Vito
20 Aaron Smith (on for Weepu, 40th minute)
Made amends for breaking team protocol during the week and then some! He scored a sensational solo try to cap off a memorable first outing against the Springboks.
21 Beauden Barrett
22 Tamati Ellison
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.