Both the Wallabies and the All Blacks won their tough opening matches in the Rugby World Cup.
However, the Springboks could not capitalise on their fast start.
Pollard missed a penalty to extend their lead, and the All Blacks soaked up the pressure. In the 22nd minute, the All Blacks were level when Richie Mo’unga was more clinical with his kick.
It was Mo’unga again with a deft kick in open play, just one minute later, who unlocked the Springbok defence and George Bridge scored the opening try of the game. Scott Barratt then went over to extend the lead. The All Blacks went into the sheds at half-time with a commanding 17-3 lead.
In the second half, the Springboks knew they had to respond and within seven minutes of the restart had a much-needed try. Pieter-Steph Du Toit’s deft play and excellent reading of the game saw him over, and Pollard converted.
When Pollard nailed a drop goal in the 58th minute, the Springboks were within four points of the All Blacks at 17-13. However, it was too much of a gap to close and two All Blacks penalties saw the cup favourites finally run out winners 22-13.
Next up for the Wallabies is the Welsh at the Tokyo Stadium next Sunday. The winner of the match will most likely top the pool. Wales play Georgia in their first match on Monday.
The All Blacks have a more extended lay off before their next game. They play Canada in Oita on October 2 and should pile on a large score.
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