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New Zealand regain Tri-Nations crown

Pulsating drama ends in disappointment for centurian Smit

Posted Aug 27, 2010 by Weekend Round-Up

John Smit

New Zealand regained the Tri-Nations crown with a dramatic 29-22 victory over South Africa in a thoroughly pulsating encounter in Johannesburg on Saturday.

With three minutes left on the clock, the hosts held a five point lead and looked set for a magnificent victory over the team who have swept aside all before them in recent months.

However, late, late tries from Kiwi skipper Richie McCaw and full back Isreal Dagg shattered 95,000 South African hearts who had packed into the FNB Stadium to show their respects for captain John Smit who was making his 100th appearance for his country. This was the largest crowd at a rugby match in the country for almost 50 years.

This cruel twist will have shattered Smit, who had earlier enjoyed a monumental roar as he made his way to the pitch.

And had the fans been hoping that the hosts would bounce back from a series of disappointing Tri-Nations performances and results then they would have been trilled with the first 77 minutes of the tremendous encounter.

Playing with passion and power, matching the All Blacks throughout, the Springboks were unrecognisable from the team that had lost so abjectly in Australia and New Zealand.

However, the skill and never-say-die spirit of the All Blacks was too much to cope with and they eventually ran out victorious to claim their 10th title.

Elsewhere, Tasman beat Canterbury 27-25 in the ITM Cup, with Counties Manukau beating Manawatu 35-14 and Wellington winning 26-14 against Waikato in the same competition.

In the Top 14, Castres beat Toulouse 22-16 whilst Biarritz lost 13-3 at home to Toulon.

Results from the Scottish Hydro E Premiership Division One were: Dundee HSFP 34 Stirling County 37, Glasgow Hawks 41 West of Scotland 15, Hawick 22 Ayr 36, Heriots Rugby Club 39 Watsonians 14, Melrose 32 Currie 29 and Selkirk 12 Boroughmuir 34.

The results from division two were: Aberdeen GSFP 16 Edinburgh Acads 24, Biggar 39 Hillhead/Jordanhill 20, Falkirk 37 Stewarts Melville FP 35, GHA 25 Jed-Forest 34, Gala 44 Kelso 10 and Kirkcaldy 23 Peebles 28.

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