Rugby Championship 2023: New Zealand beat South Africa 35-20 in Auckland

New Zealand's Shannon Frizell runs with the ball
Shannon Frizell scored a try for New Zealand in a dominant start for his side
New Zealand (20) 35
Try: A Smith, Frizell, Jordan, Mo’unga The inconvenients: Mo’unga 3 Pens: Mo’unga 3
South Africa (3) 20
Try: Marx, Kolbe, Smith Against : Kolbe Pen: De Klerk

New Zealand survived a comeback from South Africa to win their Rugby League Championship match 35-20 in Auckland.

The All Blacks got off to a good start, with tries from Aaron Smith and Shannon Frizell helping them to a 17-0 lead.

A penalty from Faf de Klerk knocked the Springboks off the mark and tries from Malcolm Marx and Cheslin Kolbe cut the deficit to 23-15.

New Zealand responded with Will Jordan and Richie Mo’unga before a late try from South Africa’s Kwagga Smith.

“It’s always physical and it’s a brilliant test match – the ones you look forward to,” said All Blacks captain Sam Cane, whose side beat Argentina in their opener. of the rugby league.

“They are the defending World Cup champions, so we knew it would be a good test to see where we were as a team.

“We’re delighted to see an improvement from last week. We know we still have a ways to go to get where we want to be, but it was a good test match.”

Cane didn’t return after half-time due to injury, while De Klerk had to be substituted due to injury in the second half.

The All Blacks’ blistering start was helped by a poor showing from the world champions in the early stages, during which they committed too many unforced errors, according to Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber.

“The start was not an idea for us, the first 20 minutes we struggled to get into the game due to poor discipline. I think we gave away four penalties in a row,” Nienaber said.

“We made a lot of mistakes and those mistakes put us under pressure. The quality side New Zealanders were able to capitalize and we had to play catch-up rugby for the rest of the game.”

The two teams will then face off at Twickenham on August 25 in a friendly match ahead of the Rugby World Cup in France.

Argentina make history against the Wallabies

Juan Martin Gonzalez’s last-minute try in Sydney saw Argentina snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in a thrilling 34-31 win over Australia in Rugby League’s final game.

It meant a second straight win for the Pumas against the Wallabies for the first time.

Australia led 10-0 after Len Ikitau’s first try and Quade Cooper’s penalty before Argentina scored the next 17 points.

Jeronimo de la Fuente completed a try that followed a nine-phase build-up, and Julian Montoya fought his way to the line as the Pumas took control.

In an end-to-end test match, Nic White rushed to draw the Wallabies level but Mateo Carreras again edged the visitors.

Samu Kerevi then fought back for Australia to stage a tense final before the hosts thought they had secured victory when Mark Nawaqanitawase intercepted a loose Argentine pass to cross with five minutes remaining.

But Argentina weren’t finished and Gonzalez grounded the ball from a rolling maul for the bonus points win to put more pressure on Wallabies coach Eddie Jones.

Jones has now lost both games in his second term in charge of Australia after a crushing loss to South Africa on his return last weekend.

The 63-year-old, who was sacked by England last year, said his side could challenge the All Blacks in their next match despite ‘not quite gelling’ against Pumas.

“In 10 days we can be a completely different team, and that’s the goal,” he said.

“We tried to play a bit more freely, which involved a bit more decision-making, but at the moment it’s not quite gelling.

“But we have to accept that there is going to be a bit of pain.

“If you look at our squad right now, there are a number of guys coming back from long-term injuries, so we’re not where we should be.

“But that’s no excuse for today’s performance.

“It’s more about how the team can just be better decision makers around the ball and our ability to come off the line a bit stronger.

“Again, we didn’t put enough pressure on them with our defence.”

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