NZ v Aus: Big-match Special
The SuperSport.com team was in Auckland today to bring you all the action as New Zealand and Australia meet in their World Cup semifinal.
Our two senior correspondents, Brenden Nel and Gavin Rich, brought us a good-as-there experience from Eden Park.
Our coverage included text updates of the build-up ,live streaming, a Q&A session and live text commentary.
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You can read our preview of the match here.
09:00 - Good morning and welcome to our big-match special for today's semifinal.
09:05 - Its buzzing outside Auckland's Eden Park superstadium as fans drift in. There is a tension here that is building, kind of like those test matches we used to know. (Brenden Nel)
09:10 -Saw former Springbok flanker Rob Louw outside and chatted to him. He's calling an All Black victory, and there are loads of Bok supporters here for the game, all dressed in green and gold. (BN)
09:15 - There definitely are a lot of nerves around here at the moment. The All Blacks havent been beaten here since 1994, but Australian fans have a certain cockiness about them today which will make the match interesting. (BN)
09:20 - Here are some facts about the two teams squaring up to day:
- Second in the IRB World Rankings having regained that position after their quarter-final win against South Africa. Will gain the top ranking for the first time if they win this semi-final.
- Have won 32 RWC matches and have scored 1396 RWC points and 179 RWC tries. They are second behind only New Zealand in all three categories.
- Are one of four teams (along with England, France and New Zealand) to have progressed to the quarter-finals at every RWC.
- Have played in three RWC finals, equal-most with England.
- Have kept their opposition from scoring a try in a RWC record 17 matches, four more than South Africa who are second-best.
- Have kept the opposition from scoring a try in a RWC record seven knockout matches, two more than South Africa who are second-best.
- Have won 10 RWC knockout matches, more than any other team.
- Are undefeated against Tri Nations opposition in knockout matches having beaten New Zealand in two semi-finals and South Africa in a semi-final and quarter-final.
- Have lost two RWC knockout matches after leading at half-time, both against England. New Zealand are the only other team to have done it more than once (two losses against France).
- Have two players (Quade Cooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper) who have played every minute of all five RWC 2011 matches. They are the only semi-finalist with more than one player to do so.
- Ranked No.1 in the world, a position they have held more than all other nations combined.
- Have scored 1,984 RWC points, 588 more than second-placed Australia.
- Have scored 270 RWC tries, 91 more than second-placed Australia.
- Have won 35 RWC matches, three more than second-placed Australia.
- Are the only team to finish first in their pool at every RWC.
- Are one of four teams (along with England, France and Australia) to have progressed to the quarter-finals at every RWC.
- Have progressed to the semi-finals on five occasions, equal-most with France.
- Along with France, are the only teams to have lost multiple RWC semi-finals.
- Have lost two knockout matches after leading at half-time, both against France. Australia are the only other team to have done it more than once (both losses were against England).
- New Zealand have scored at least one try in their past 94 tests and in 100 of the 101 tests coached by Graham Henry.
- Graham Henry coaches a team in a Rugby World Cup match for the 15th time, breaking Bernard Laporte's (FRA) record. Henry coached Wales in their four matches at RWC 1999 and the All Blacks in five matches at RWC 2007 and six at RWC 2011.
- Graham Henry is the only person to coach 100 Tests for a major nation in the professional era. His 85 per cent winning record coaching New Zealand is the best for any coach of a major nation in the professional era. His predecessor John Mitchell's record of 82.1 per cent is the only other above 80 per cent. Henry also coached 34 Tests for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions.
- New Zealand have lost to only South Africa, Australia and France during Henry's reign and have a winning record against all three.
- New Zealand have won their last 15 Test matches at home, a winning streak that goes back more than two years, since South Africa beat them 32-29 in Hamilton on 12 September 2009.
- Under Graham Henry, New Zealand have lost only three home Test matches, against South Africa (twice) and France.
09:29 - Weather outside is good. There were some reports of showers, but we cant see a cloud in the sky tonight. Looks like great weather for the game. (BN)
|Outside Eden Park.
| All Blacks will not be short of support.
| The Battle Ground.
09:35 - Both sides warming up on the field while a marching band keeps the crowd entertained. (BN)
09:40 - Victor Matfield in the SuperSport studio: "Listening to everybody speak, you'd imagine New Zealand will win this one by 20. For me this is pretty much a 50-50. I'll pick the All Blacks, but only just".
09:45 - Stadium is almost full as the spider came moves across the field. We're ready for a big one. (BN)
<09:46 - Here is Brenden and Gavin discussing today's match:
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09:50 - The teams are being shown on the big screen. Aussies have enough support, but are dwarfed by the hometown crowd. Quade Cooper gets a big boo, they certainly dont like him in these parts (BN)
09:52 - The choir is formed and we're almost ready for the big game. Enjoy it, it will be a cracker (BN)
09:58 - Anthems done, and the All Blacks are now performing the haka in front of this full house. We're off to the live scoring facility. Join us there. Enjoy!
11:50 - Wow, what a game by the All Blacks and Craig Joubert. Stay tuned for a couple of post-match quotes, as while as live tweets from the post-match press conferences.
12:15Here are the post-match quotes:
Richie McCaw: "It's awesome. We realised that we were going to have to front up and be on the job for 80 minutes. The intensity was there. Every single man out there did their bit tonight. That's what you have to do in World Cup rugby. I'm very happy with that.
"We have next week to look forward to but I'm proud of the way the guys fronted up.
"I thought our back three were outstanding. The kicks put the ball in front of us at the right times. It makes it easy for the forwards. The intensity, the ball carriers and the breakdown were key to give us something to work with.
"It's a pretty good performance tonight but we are going to need it next week so we won't get too carried away. I'm very proud."
James Horwil: "We didn't do well enough at certain times of the game to get the pressure off. We didn't convert some points there in the second half. It's really disappointing to finish in a way like that.
"They did very well in the air, we knew that. We needed to improve in a couple of areas. Credit to the All Blacks, they outplayed us and deserved to win.
"The All Blacks are a great side. We hung in there very well but they ticked the scoreboard over there in the second half.
"They defended very well. We didn't execute and put phases together. We didn't pressure them enough at their end of the field and get a result. They did well and we lacked a little bit in that area."
12:20 - That concludes our covergae of this semifinal weekend. Hope you enjoyed as much as we did.
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport
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