Like Bayern Munich in football, New Zealand keep setting records in rugby. In a tense semifinal against South Africa, the most successful rugby nation of all time secured the win and a spot in the 2015 final.
New Zealand overcame archrival South Africa 20-18 in the wet at Twickenham on Saturday to advance to a record fourth World Cup final. New Zealand were not at their best to start, but in the end proved too dangerous and smart for their opponents.
Tries by Jerome Kaino and Beauden Barrett early in each half were a fair representation of the All Blacks’ superior commitment to attack and they deservedly advanced to face Argentina or Australia in the final back at Twickenham next Saturday. Argentina and Australia face each other on Sunday.
South Africa led 12-7 at halftime through the goal-kicking of Handre Pollard but spent most of the half defending. Both teams had a man in the sin bin at one stage, but it was the ill-discipline of New Zealand that gave South Africa a chance to get back into the game and set up a tense finale. The All Blacks showed their experience though, and ran down the clock as South Africa’s chances washed away with a late knock-on.
New Zealand have the chance to be the first nation to defend a World Cup title, while the captain, Richie McCaw now has the chance to become the first man to hoist the Webb Ellis Cup twice.
jh/pfd (Reuters, AP)