The All Blacks surrendered a tie to the Springboks when the two squads met recently in Wellington for a Rugby World Cup warmup.
The final score was a 16 – 16 draw gained when the Springboks’ Herschel Jantjes converted a try in the final winner.
A drawn result means a win to the Kiwis, right?
What’s good for cricket in good for rugby in our view, but rugby has a different set of rules, so this contest was neither win – win or lose – lose, but draw –draw.
New Zealand are considered the gold standard so far as international rugby is concerned, so Springboks’ coach Rassie Erasmus added a positive spin to the outcome no one appreciates by saying, “We take a lot of positives out of this because they are the world No.1, they are the benchmark. We’ll take a lot of belief out of this game.”
The two sides will meet for blood in Yokohama in their World Cup openers.
Erasmus added his prediction that try scoring would be low in World Cup, with matches supplying one or two tries.
He might be prescient in his assessment, with teams taking measures to add to their defensive arsenals.
Argentina supplies a case in point following narrow losses narrow losses to New Zealand and Australia in the current Rugby Championship.
From our perspectives, we find it hard to disagree with Erasmus or anyone else similarly disposed.
Erasmus noted that New Zealand have increased their line speed and taken another step in the transformation of Test rugby into forward-based contests of the past.
“I guess in the old days, the scores were 12-10, 15-12 and Test match rugby was like that … it was only one or two tries normally,” he said.”I’m not sure it’s the way the game should go but it’s definitely the way the game is going when you’re under pressure.”
A poll of the fans would probably reveal a desire for scoring, but if that same poll were to include opinions of drawn outcomes, that is a direction the game should seek to avoid.