The frantic finish that saw the Springboks edge the All Blacks 36-34 in a cliffhanger has many fans and pundits alike questioning why the All Blacks didn’t opt to take a drop goal.
The decision to attack the edge after the buzzer proved costly as pressure from a rushing Aphiwe Dyanti caused Damian McKenzie to spill the ball and effectively end the match. Some resolute goal-line defence by the Springboks in the last 10 minutes repelled the men in black time and time again, where the All Blacks didn’t look like taking a shot for three.
Post-match, reserve halfback TJ Perenara explained the call was made but then a change of plans were made.
“The call went out to take a shot there,” explained TJ Perenara.
“We went to set for it but then we got a picture where we have a three-on-two and for me, there are a lot more things that can go wrong in a drop goal than can in a three-on-two.
“If we execute that we are not having this conversation about a drop goal.
Despite the play not coming up with the desired try, Perenara believes he would do the same thing again if offered the same situation.
“But the decision to set up for it did definitely happen. It was a call that got given but if I was out there I would have made the same call and looking back on it, I still think it was the right call.”
Steve Hansen conceded that the drop goal would have been a good option.
“Maybe a drop goal, which we have a set-up for, would have been a good option however they tried to score a try.
“[Losing] doesn’t happen often but it is important that we learn something from it otherwise the whole thing is a waste of time. But we have to give South Africa a lot of credit. They came out with a plan to put pressure on us and they did that.”
“They played particularly well and took all the chances that were there and if you take them and score five tries you have done a great job,” he said.
“We were disappointed there are areas we will have to work on and at the same time we got a team that put us under a lot of pressure. We are trying to put some new structures and try a few things and South Africa asked questions about those structures and I think we will be a better team because of that.
The win was the Springboks first win against the All Blacks since 2014, and first in New Zealand since 2009. The epic encounter between the old rivals sets up a fascinating return fixture in Pretoria on October 6.
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