All Blacks defeat South Africa in Tri Nations rugby

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

The All Blacks defeated South Africa in the third match of the 2006 Tri Nations rugby union series. The final score was 35 points to 17. The match was played at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

The previous week South Africa had gone down nil to 49 at the hands of Australia in Brisbane. The loss to Australia saw South Africa drop in the IRB international rankings. Prior to South Africa's opening Tri Nations match, they had unconvincingly beaten Scotland in a two-test series at home in June, which was followed by a loss to France. As expected, coming into the match in Wellington, head coach Jake White and his players were under considerable pressure to perform.

The crowd was shocked when South Africa scored the opening try of the match, when Fourie du Preez charged down a Dan Carter kick, to score just 17 seconds after kick-off. Percy Montgomery added the conversion for a surprising 7-0 lead to the South Africans. However, the All Blacks were able to get in front by halftime, with Carter kicking four penalty goals and Piri Weepu scoring on the stroke of half-time.

More New Zealand penalties followed within the second half, however, when Breyton Paulse scored an impressive try off a cross-field kick, South Africa were back in the game, with the All Blacks leading 25 to 17 with just under 10 minutes remaining. The match was sealed with another penalty kick by Carter, and a late try from All Black captain Richie McCaw.

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