Powerful South Africans defeat New Zealand #JWC2014
James Mortimer 06 Jun 2014 Getty Images
Despite wielding a 17-14 lead at half time, the hosts had been under pressure at the set piece, even if though early throughout the contest it looked as if Chris Boyd’s men would withstand the onslaught.
Two wonderful and somewhat spine-tingling renditions of the national anthems had the crowd and teams get behind the pre match proceedings leading to the Haka.
The alternate stance and varied motions, somewhat different to the All Blacks, ultimately led to a Ka Mate chant, which the giant Junior Springboks greeted with impassive stares.
Two early penalties from first five-eighth Handre Pollard set the tone with the South Africans taking a 6-0 lead after the first 12 minutes.
Eventually the strike potential of the New Zealanders was demonstrated by arguably the man of the match, with Tevita Li benefitting from some good hands to create a series of overlaps.
Li, 19-years-young, would be the game’s most threatening back.
Unfortunately the Junior Springboks set piece would begin to grind the home outfit down.
South Africa would insist on kicking the ball down the field at most opportunities, but New Zealand’s insistence on running out of their own territory would pay off, once again due to that man Li.
He would sprint 20 metres down the sideline, before cutting in to drift from the Junior Boks 22 to score under the posts for his second.
A temporary reprieve would come with New Zealand scoring a scrum penalty, but it would be a false dawn as Jesse Kriel would score for the tourists, making it an even 14-14 ballgame.
Captain Simon Hickey would kick a penalty to end the first half, but the second stanza would continue with the South Africans imposing themselves on frontal proceedings.
A try to Pollard would make it 21-17 to the Junior Boks as the final 40 minutes commenced, and another score by Lloyd Greef minutes later would put the New Zealand team under real pressure.
Li would cross for a hat-trick, but it wasn’t individual contributions that was making the difference, it was the power and patience of the South African’s giant pack.
A lively crowd of 5,165 would see visiting wing Warrick Gelant score the clincher in the corner.
The Junior Springboks will now top Pool C unless Samoa can defeat them, while New Zealand will need a healthy addition to their point’s differential to qualify for the top four.
Boyd’s team meets Scotland at 19:35pm (NZT) on June 10.
In other results:
• Italy hold on to stun Argentina 29-26
• Defending champions England overcome Australia 38-24
• France remain unbeaten after 37-5 win over Fiji
• Samoa delight their fans by beating Scotland 27-18
• Ireland bounce back to beat Wales 35-21
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