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The All Blacks and the Springboks will kick off Round 4 of the Rugby Championship on Saturday at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch. Last weekend's results have left the All Blacks within touching distance of reclaiming the title that they lost last season, when they tournament was played in a truncated form, due to the imminent World Cup in England. After beating Australia both home and away, the All Blacks seemingly crushed the Argentinian Pumas by 8-1 tries and 57-22 in Hamilton last week. However, they were pushed far harder than those statistics would suggest. The score was only 24-22 in favour of the home side, 10 minutes into the second period.
However, a number of substitutions produced an upturn in performance, and the New Zealand were unstoppable, as they opened up a nine point cushion over Saturday's visitors in the table. The South Africa started the tournament with a narrow coe from behind win against Los Pumas, but have since slipped to back to back away defeats, 24-26 away to Los Pumas and last week 17-23 to Australia in Brisbane. The Boks have now lost five successive away matches in the competition. The two sides last met in the World Cup semi-final in late 2015 at Twickenham, when the Kiwis squeezed home by 20-18.
Posted: 13th September 2014
The All Blacks may not have been their usual super efficient juggernaut of an International rugby team so far during the 2014 Rugby Championship, yet they still lead the table at the halfway stage, and look increasingly likely to retain their title once more. On Saturday they face the Springboks at the Westpac Stadium Wellington, before they finish their campaign with away matches in Argentina and the return game against the Boks at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg. South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has made the audacious decision to replace the experienced Morne Steyn with the 20 year old rookie, Handre Pollard for Saturday's fixture. There is no doubt that Pollard has bags of skill and potential, and he was recently named as the World Junior Player of the Year, but Meyer is taking a huge gamble in introducing him to the white hot atmosphere of an All Blacks international in New Zealand.
While Pollard is at the beginning of what he hopes will be a long and successful international career, the South African captain Jean de Villiers will win his 100th Test cap in Wellington. The home team welcomes back fly-half Aaron Cruden, who missed last week's victory over Argentina with a chest injury.
Posted: 14th September 2013
A crunch game that will go a long way in deciding the winner of this season’s Rugby Championship sees New Zealand take on South Africa at Eden Park this weekend. Watch New Zealand v South Africa live on your computer by joining watchliverugby.tv today. The Boks lead the Rugby Championship after their stunning 38-12 win over Australia in Brisbane last weekend. Victory at Eden Park over the All Blacks will put them in a very nice position indeed, with both their remaining games set to be played back in the Republic. Against Australia, the Bok pack was immense, with the Sharks front row of Beast Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis and Jannie du Plessis dominating their Wallaby counterparts. Second rower Eben Etzebeth had another stormier of a game, while the loose trio of Louw, Alberts and Vermuelen again combined well together.
Under fire Scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar’s service was also crisper at Suncorp Stadium and the Boks will hope to produce a similar performance to the All Blacks, who beat Argentina in a tightly contested game in Hamilton last weekend. In Dunedin last year, the Bok pack got the better of the All Blacks, but were let down the inability of Morne Steyn’s boot to convert them into penalties. Will the Boks complete a clean sweep on their Australasian tour? Watch New Zealand v South Africa live Rugby Championship streaming online and find out.
Tags: Rugby Championship
, AMI Stadium
, New Zealand
, South Africa
, Westpac Stadium
, Heyneke Meyer
, Jean de Villiers
, Aaron Cruden
, Beast Mtawarira
, Eben Etzebeth
, Suncorp Stadium
, Morne Steyn