JOHANNESBURG - South Africa, for whom tryscoring has become a difficult rugby art, ran in six as they beat the All Blacks 46-40 in their Tri-Nations rugby test yesterday.

The South Africans began the test in strong style and with the All Blacks appearing rattled and defensively porous, the tries came at a rapid rate.

Within the opening half hour, South Africa had scored a stunning five tries, four of them were converted, and they led 33-13.

After the recalled Chester Williams skipped inside a sloppy Christian Cullen tackle, the unwanted midfield back Robbie Fleck - recalled only because de Wet Barry was ruled out by injury - scored twice, both times slipping an ineffectual All Blacks defensive screen.

Halfback Werner Swanepoel darted over from a ruck on the All Blacks line and fullback Thinus Delport shot through a gap to make a mess of Cullen's tackling skills again.

Tana Umaga got the opening All Black try, when a poorly executed attacking move by the South Africans fell over.

The first of Cullen's two tries gave him the new All Blacks test tryscoring record of 40.

Umaga's second try, just before halftime, got his team back into the contest.

Both teams scored a try apiece in the second half, through Cullen and Swanepoel.

South Africa 46 (Robbie Fleck 2, Werner Swanepoel 2, Chester Williams, Thinus Delport tries; Braam van Straaten 2 pen, 5 con)

New Zealand 40 (Christian Cullen 2, Tana Umaga 2; Andrew Mehrtens 3 pen, drop goal, 4 con).

Halftime: 33-27.


All Blacks test programme 2000