What a marvelous, marvelous game.
I actually still haven't watched the last 20 minutes, but up until then it was close, it was intense, each team seemed like it was on the brink of busting it wide open.
I think the 50 minute substitutions of the brothers duPlessis was the turning point. I never understood why you'd sub someone after they've just had a ten minute breather. Injury, yes, but if you're going to sub them so soon after the break you may as well sub them during the half.
The progression of the Boks has been remarkable. They still lack New Zealand's rugby IQ at each position, although that gap has narrowed a lot. The Boks still miss more tackles, which is ironic considering how they try to play "hard man" rugby. In physicality, overall South Africa is better, but "ball sense" is All Blacks in every position but maybe hooker (Bismark) and Jean deVilliers. And that was the difference. And JdV is such a class act. Habana was sensational.
Well played both teams. Games like that are good for the sport.
Bravo New Zealand. Worthy champions.
BMW 2002. long live the legend