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Ken Borland


Delighted McCaw celebrates 100th win

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Ken

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw was delighted that his 100th Test victory was achieved in such compelling fashion as the All Blacks beat South Africa 32-16 in their Rugby Championship match at Soccer City in Soweto on Saturday.

The world champions scored 20 unanswered second-half points to end the tournament in style and ensure McCaw’s unique landmark was made even more memorable.

“It’s pretty special, a performance like that is why you test yourself and you have to be part of a pretty special team to win 100 Tests.

“The mental side is the most challenging thing in top sport, you have to pitch up regardless of what happened last week. We put in a good performance against Argentina and we needed to back that up if we’re going to keep progressing. I’m just delighted that we did that for the first time this year,” McCaw told a news conference after the game.

While the All Blacks had already clinched the inaugural Rugby Championship title with their 54-15 win over Argentina last weekend, Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said their performance on Saturday proved that they are worthy world champions.

“They are a great team, we were beaten by a better side today. We obviously still have a long way to go even though we’ve come up from fourth to second on the rankings.

“There’s obviously a big difference between second and first on the rankings and even though the All Blacks might play badly, they always have one or two brilliant players who get them off the hook.

“It will take a special side to beat them and they will need some luck and a referee who gives them all the 50/50 calls,” Meyer said.

The Springbok coach acknowledged that his team had simply made too many mistakes after dominating the first half to secure a 16-12 lead at the break.

“At half-time, we were in the game, we’d played the right game and kept them under pressure. But just after half-time we had a turnover against the best counter-attacking team and that put them ahead.

“Dan Carter was then superb as he controlled the game and it was very difficult for us to catch up. They forced us to take risks and the mistakes came, but they were soft moments,” Meyer complained.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said the victory was an all-round effort.

“It was a great game of rugby, it’s not often you get a performance like that against a very good South African team. It was a great victory against a great opponent.

“The whole group is working well together, we’ve got the recipe for the cake right and the mental state is great. The team is well-led by Richie, who has won 100 Tests because he has great mental strength,” Hansen said.

The All Blacks took the game to another level in the second half and McCaw said the two tries they scored between the 41st and 53rd minutes had been the decisive moments.

“We didn’t get a lot of ball in the first half, but traditionally the time just before and after the break are key. We conceded a couple of penalties just before half-time, but straight away we struck back in the second half and that gave the team a lift after we had given ourselves a pretty stern talking to in the shed. From then on we were in control,” McCaw said.

 

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