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All Blacks sneak win over S Africa

New Zealand flyhalf Aaron Cruden kicked two late penalties as the All Blacks hung on to beat South Africa 21-11 in their Rugby Championship clash at Otago Stadium yesterday.

South Africa, who had drawn and lost their previous two games in the Rugby Championship, could be considered unlucky not to have won just their second test in Dunedin, missing 20 points from poor goal-kicking.

“They were long range (kicks) and normally those kickers will put them over so we’re thankful for that,” New Zealand captain Richie McCaw said.

“They played a physical game and took it to us early on. That’s exactly what we expected, that type of match from the Boks.”

The Springboks had been criticised prior to the match for their one-dimensional game plan that involved flyhalf Morne Steyn hoisting the ball high into the air and hoping the All Blacks would commit errors inside their own territory.

The tactic, however, was effective as the Springboks were awarded several kickable penalties and could have had a handy 18-5 lead by the break had Steyn and inside centre Frans Steyn not combined to miss five penalty attempts.

The Springboks also blew a certain try early in the match when Bryan Habana was unmarked 15 metres from the line only for the final pass to go behind him and into touch.

Other result: Australia vs Argentina 23-19.

Standings: New Zealand 16; Aus-tralia 8; South Africa 7; Argentina 3.

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