Hello and welcome to a sold out Eden Park in Auckland for the biggest Test match of the year, it's the All Blacks hosting the Springboks.
The All Blacks are without inspirational leader Richie McCaw tonight, with the apprentice Sam Cane stepping in to take over the number 7 jersey.
While the Springboks are high on confidence, they demolished the Wallabies in Brisbane last weekend and will be keen to continue that form tonight.
In wet conditions, it'll be a classic 'battle of attrition' and it's sure to be won up front.
We bring you live streaming written commentary, video highlights (be sure to refresh your browser) and all the rugby action. VIDEO will be available as soon as the final whistle goes.
LIVE COMMENTARY... All Blacks (Kieran Read, Ma'a Nonu yellow carded) 29 - 15 Springboks (Bismarck du Plessis red carded)
Wrap Thanks all for joining me tonight, a great win from the All Blacks. Stay tuned though, as rugby reporter Jim Kayes will give his thoughts on the match shortly.
Full time The Boks have it here with five seconds left... the hooter goes now.. and the Boks have it on halfway.. Knock on! That is it! The All Blacks win!! Check out the video for all the highlights!!
79 mins Springboks have it here.. no they don't! Kerr-Barlow brings it forward, ABs have it 35 out from the Boks line.. Penalty! To the Sptringboks.. they can still get a bonus point here remember. As Steyn puts it out inside the ABs 22.
77 mins Steyn kicks to the corner... they've won the ball and they've got the try in the corner! Lambie with some impressive work out there. 29-15 it will be kick to come.. No conversion!
75 mins All Blacks have penalised again! Nonu is in the bin for a late charge on de Villiers! So it's 13 v 14 now!! Unbelievable! This ref loves the cards, more yellows than a football match!
73 mins The Springboks hot on attack now.. and the All Blacks conceding quite a few penalties... Kieran Read has paid the price in fact, he's in the bin! Springboks still on attack.. metres short. 14 v 14 right now. But it's turned over, and the All Blacks clear!
70 mins No conversion from Barrett, it doesn't matter though, this game is buried. Back with the game and the Springboks have some rare territory here, they've got a lineout on the ABs 22.. What can they do? Rock solid black wall of defence here, but they win a penalty, Luatua was offside.
68 mins The All Blacks get the ball back and charge towards the line, the ball is given to CANE AND CANE SCORES!!! BONUS POINT!! 29-10, goodnight all! What a result.
66 mins All Blacks have it again about 30 out here.. One more try equals game over.. if it isn't already after that red card. Barrett has a stab and they're on the 22 now.. Aaron Smith tries a little kick, but it goes into touch. Springbok lineout 15 from their own line. They have had NO territory lately!
64 mins Steyn clears downfield now, and the All Blacks throw quickly. Piutau loves to run.. DOES HE WHAT!! UP TO THE 22!! Retallick keeps it moving and they're 15 out from the try line... Savea kicks through and KIERAN READ DIVES ON IT AND OHHHHH HE'S LOST IT OVER THE LINE I THINK!!! Savea grubbered, Read was coming down the sideline, he almost gathered it but has knocked on as he looked to slide over the line. Almost a hattrick! But it'll be a five metre scrum for the Springboks.
61 mins Scrum feed now for the All Blacks.. as the clock ticks over the hour mark. We're about 30 from the All Blacks line.. but man this scrum is taking ages to get sorted! PENALTY! Finally. Barrett will kick for touch now. What a boring two minutes.
58 mins Steyn clears from just outside his 22.. but he's put it out on the full!! All Blacks lineout 25 from the Boks line.. Savea takes them to 15 out now.. Penalty! ABs not releasing. And the Springboks get a chance to clear.
56 mins From the scrum the All Blacks bring it forward into the Boks 22.. Good metres here.. MESSAM TO THE LINE!! He's taken metres short! Out wide they come now and NONU LOSES IT! Scrum five out for the Boks.
53 mins Scrum for the ABs on halfway, Piutau stabs a kick through and SAVEA REGATHERS he comes down the sideline.. but is taken into touch! He looked a bit like Lomu storming down the touchline there. But the Boks have it back, Pienaar kicks, and that man Savea claims it again on halfway.
50 mins Piutau has a run now, and the All Blacks have it 40 out from the Boks line, Saveaaaaaa offloads to Barrett now they're 15 out!! PENALTY! Against the ABs and a chance to clear out of the danger zone.
47 mins All Blacks coming forward now... Aaron Smith gives it to READ AND THE SKIPPER CHARGES OVER UNDER THE POSTS!! READ HAS A BRACE!! You beauty, Sprinboks sinking, Barrett adds the extras, 24-10.
45 mins Nonu stabs a beautiful kick in behind (how good is Nonu at kicking these days!) and Kirschner is forced dead in his own in-goal. Great kick, great chase. All Blacks scrum five out from the Springbok line. And it's an 8 v 7 scrum as well.
43 mins Du Plessis has run at Messam here, and he's done it with a raised elbow. He could be in trouble here du Plessis. Messam's struggling a little bit with an injury. And we're going upstairs, this could be a second yellow for du Plessis = red. Is it? It is! Du Plessis red carded!!!
42 mins Back underway, and the Springboks have first real uce of the football with a scrum near halfway. Big change at the break, Dagg is off for Piutau.
Halftime That's halftime folks! Brilliant match, pulsating stuff here at Eden Park. I'm off to find a bite to eat, be back shortly for the second spell! See you soon
39 mins This is a cracking match, really is.It's got everything. And now it's got a Springbok lineout 10 inside ABs territory... Du Plessis overthrows, Aaron Smith can't quite pick it up, he knocks on and it's a lineout just inside Springbok territory. Big scrum! But the Boks have it still.. just.. no! Not anymore! Turnover.
37 mins Springboks hot on attack here! Five out now! Loose pass, regathered by le Roux... Ten out.. Good hit Nonu.. Still with the Boks though.. STOLEN!! And Ben Smith wellies it down field. A huge net gain for the All Blacks, as Kirschner clears into touch and it'll be a lineout 30 from the Boks line.
34 mins All Blacks have a penalty here, and well within kicking distance. Barrett lines it up, and nails it! Aaron Smith clears from the restart, not a great kick, and it'll be a Springbok lineout 30 from the line.
32 mins Ooosh, fair bit of the old claret on Sam Cane there. Taken a bit of a hit. Eeeeeeeesh! He's copped a head clash with Owen Franks, I can think of no one worse to have a head clash with. Fact. Springboks driving forward here from an attacking lineout.. STILL GOING!! OVER THE LINE.. TRY!! Bismarck du Plessis the man! How good is this Bok pack guys? Brilliant drive there. All Blacks just couldn't stop them.
29 mins Not only will we have all the tries online at the end of the game, we'll also have the du Plessis on Carter incident as well so you can make your own mind up on whether that was a yellow card. Stick around post match. South Africa have it just inside the 22 here.. Turnover! And Barrett clears down field
27 mins South Africa have it 30 from the All Blacks line now, make that 25.. Pienaar tries to grubber ahead, but he's knocked it on. Bismarck du Plessis arrives back on the field. As the All Blacks prepare for a scrum 20 from their own line. The chat is an AC joint injury for Carter...
25 mins Get this, the All Blacks have made eight tackles in the match! Lorde belting out on the loudspeaker here, plenty of Kiwi talent on show tonight! It's an AB scrum 10 shy of halfway, and the All Blacks win the penalty at the scrum.
24 mins Well well, Dan who? What a break from Barrett!! Great run, and great to see Retallick score his first Test try. Cracking game this. Barrett adds the extras, 14-3 it is. Love the passion in that celebration as well, massively up for this one.
23 mins Conrad Smith brings it forward, BARRETT UP THE MIDDLE NOW.. NO SUPPORT! Taken 15 out! CONRAD SMITH THROUGH, GIVES IT TO RETALLICK AND THE ALL BLACKS ARE IN!!!! YOU BEAUTY!!
21 mins South Africa have it here on halfway, Steyn bombs and Bryan Habana has just smashed Dagg!! Completely off the ball! Not intentional, but he just ran into him! Dagg's injured here as well, looks like a hamstring injury.. they're dropping like flys!! Uh oh...
17 mins Not sure Carter will keep going here... he looks really sore. That's what happens when Bismarck du Plessis hits you and you don't see it coming! Barrett is on, so Carter's game is over. Could well be a broken collarbone! Anyway, OH WHAT IS THIS!! DU PLESSIS YELLOW CARDED! Huge hit! But that's it, he's been binned for a no-arms tackle.. very haaaarsh that. All Blacks have it on the 22, they move it wide, but Read throws it into touch. Big few moments there!
16 mins How good is Bismarck du Plessis by the way, a real fourth loosie. He won that penalty then, best hooker in the world by a mile. Anyway, Steyn's kick is a shocker, and Carter restarts from the 22. All Blacks have it and they spread it to CARTER OH MY!! BIG HIT!! And it's ALL KICKING OFF!!! FISTY CUFFS HERE!! Carter is in real trouble, he looks to have a bad shoulder... well well well, these two sides are well and truly at eachother!
15 mins Springboks working it out of their own territory now, Pienaar box kicks, great chase from De Villiers and the All Blacks have it 10 short of halfway, Ben Smith breaks! He's scragged to deck on halfway, and the Boks win a penalty. Gee this Bok pack is good, ABs coming up second best at the break down at the moment. Steyn will have a nudge at goal, about 52m out, right in front.
12 mins South Africa have it now just out from their own line, Steyn will kick, it's a decent nudge as well, it'll be an All Black lineout 30 from the try line.
10 mins Retallick pinged for playing the man in the air, and South Africa have a penalty. Steyn will kick for goal here. Difficult kick, 40m out and 15 in from the right hand touch. That's 45.6m on the angle off the top of my head. Steyn nails it, as always, 7-3 here at Eden Park.
8 mins Carter adds the extras and it's 7-0. Loving this battle, no love lost out there. The All Blacks have a defensive lineout here ten from their own line, Carter clears downfield, it'll be a lineout 10 short of halfway for the Springboks.
6 mins TRRRRYYYY!! The skipper Kieran Read dots down!!
6 mins The All Blacks drive to the line through Read, OVER THE LINE!! HAS HE GOT IT DOWN? I THINK HE HAS! We'll go upstairs, but this looks really promising for Kiwi fans... stand by...
4 mins Penalty! Big scrum from South Africa and they win a pen! There's a bit of niggle afterwards, I think it's props banter or something. Gotta love it. Great battle. Springboks have a lineout just outside the 22 but the All Blacks steal it, Carter clears down field, and it's with Kirschner, bit of a force back here, until Nonu chips in behind, beautiful kick.. le Roux can only take it into touch! Five metre lineout for the All Blacks!
2 mins Underway! Carter gets the game started, and Pienaar takes it and clears down field. Dagg has it now, he bombs back, good pressure from the ABs! And the Springboks knock on! It'll be a scrum 10 inside SA territory for the All Blacks.
7:35pm YEAH BABY! Brilliant haka! Brilliant response! Both sides are absolutely fizzed for this, I am absolutely fizzed. I hope you are too, we are in for a cracker!!
7:33pm A sold out Eden Park belting out God Defend New Zealand really does send chills down the old spine. Love it. Now we are set for the All Blacks haka! Liam Messam to lead it.
7:30pm Both teams out on the field, and we are just hearing the South Africa national anthem, Heyneke Meyer absolutely belting it out. It is COLD!
7:24pm Here's what Eden Park looked about an hour ago, right now there's more people here for sure, but it's a bit wetter as well!
7:17pm Richie McCaw also believe it'll be won in the battle up front. Refreshing insight that! Anyway! About 15 away from kickoff here, where are you following our updates from tonight/this arvo/this morning? Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and let me know.
7:10pm Steve Hansen reckons the All Blacks need to win the battle up front... Wow, I never saw that coming! Love a rugby cliche.
7:07pm Well it's been a dreadful day in Auckland today, and it's been a dreadful day for Auckland rugby teams! Waikato beat Auckland in the ITM Cup, while Hamilton Boys toppled St Kents for the national school rugby title.
7pm Good evening all and welcome in to a very wet Eden Park in Auckland for this Test between the All Blacks and South Africa. Not gonna lie, pretty fizzed for this one, should be an absolute beaut.
We will start commentary from 7pm, kickoff is at 7:35pm bringing you the weather and ground conditions. In the meantime check out the highlights from the last time these sides met in New Zealand and then read rugby reporter Jim Kayes' thoughts on the absence of Richie McCaw.
Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Conrad Smith, Ma'a Nonu, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Sam Cane, Liam Messam, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Cole, Tony Woodcock. Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Steven Luatua, Matt Todd, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Charles Piutau.
Zane Kirchner, Willie le Roux, JJ Engelbrecht, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morne Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Eben Etzebeth, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira. Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Gurthro Steenkamp, Coenie Oosthuizen, Juandre Kruger, Siya Kolisi, Jano Vermaak, Pat Lambie, Jan Serfontein.
Pre match banter:
By Jim Kayes
It was a blisteringly hot Johannesburg day as the All Blacks bumbled their way lethargically through the Thursday training ahead of last year’s final Rugby Championship in Soweto. They were tired, in part from the trip to South Africa from Argentina, but also because this was the last game in an exhausting competition. It showed in a session that, to that point, had been average at best. So, the skipper called in his troops and in words that were blunt and blue told them to get over themselves.
"So you’re tired, so what," was the opening gist of Richie McCaw’s brief and brutal verbal assault. "You’ll be tired on Saturday too. Deal it with, get past it, man up, toughen up." I’ve paraphrased a bit, but you get the message. McCaw wasn’t happy and now his teammates were on notice.
From there the training fizzed along and it was no surprise that after trailing 12-16 at halftime they cleared away from the Springboks in the second half of the Test, keeping them scoreless with an impressive 32-16 win. It was, by a long shot, their best performance of last year and capped an unbeaten run in the inaugural Rugby Championship in style.
It also shows how much McCaw means to the All Blacks. He might, as some suggest, be past his best as an openside flanker (though if he is, he is still one of the best) but McCaw has developed into one of Test rugby’s best captains. Like Sean Fitzpatrick, John Eales, Martin Johnson, George Gregan and Francois Pienaar he is able to control a game as much by their presence as what he actually does.
It’s not by chance the All Blacks have a superior win record when McCaw plays, just as his 88 percent success rate in 119 Tests soars above the overall All Blacks record of 76 per cent (382 wins in 504 tests). Against the Springboks McCaw has won a staggering 16 of his 21 Tests.
McCaw’s absence from the 86th Test against South Africa has some predicting the Springboks will win at Eden Park for the first time since 1937. But this All Blacks side is better than that.
Sure Sam Cane’s not in McCaw’s class but there are still enough world class players to get the All Blacks across the line. If you were to pick a combined XV from these two teams, at best one third would be South African. Bismarck du Plessis would stroll in at hooker, Francois Louw is probably superior to Cane at openside and Ruan Pienaar might (and it’s only might these days) nip past Aaron Smith at halfback.
Equally, it’s a toss of a coin whether you’d pick Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana ahead of Ma’a Nonu and Julian Savea or Ben Smith (as Habana can play left or right) at second five and wing. Cast an eye over the All Blacks and they still ooze talent, class and experience even without McCaw – and probably have the world’s best player in Kieran Read at Number eight.
What Read’s still developing is the ruthless edge that makes a good captain a superb one. There was a noticeably lighter tread to the All Blacks gait during the June Tests when McCaw was missing. Despite that, the All Blacks still won. And even without McCaw on Saturday they should do so again.
source: newshub archive