All Blacks 27
Springboks 20

One piece of unruffled thinking from Lima Sopoaga explained the All Black selectors decision to promote the young five eighths.

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All Blacks pinch thriller

He took an inside pass from Ma'a Nonu and put his foot down in an arching 40m run before high-balling a pass to Ben Smith for the try which kept the visitors in this absorbing test.


You often hear players and coaches talk about the best players being ice-cool in a test inferno, making the right decisions as the squeeze goes on.

The All Blacks won the tight test at Ellis Park 27-20, hear the captains and coaches post match as they review what happened and look ahead to the RWC.

Sopoaga earned plenty of ticks as much of what he did on debut at Ellis Park continued the strong form the national panel liked throughout the Super 15. He took a heavy hit early but bounced back with such a strong showing he will have created further World Cup headaches for the selectors.

He varied his game, organized strongly, kicked well for position and goal to keep the heat on rivals Daniel Carter, Beauden Barrett and Colin Slade.

In the end it took another piece of calm thinking to deliver an All Black victory which looked to be slipping away as the Boks racheted up the third quarter heat.

Captain Richie McCaw called for a lineout rather than a kick at goal eight minutes from time and scored from a planned move which was a variation on Tony Woodcock's try in the 2011 World Cup.
The All Blacks were often knocked off their stride by a fiery Bok team but their ability to think and produce under pressure shows how logic usually beats emotion.