Gutsy All Blacks extend lead in world rugby rankings

Gutsy All Blacks extend lead in world rugby rankings

Gutsy All Blacks extend lead in world rugby rankings

The team suffered a first loss on home soil this year when they were edged 25-24 by the All Blacks, who finished the Rugby Championship undefeated and retained the title they won in 2016.

"I feel very sorry for the players because they left everything out there".

McKenzie, center Ryan Crotty and wing Rieko Ioane for the All Blacks; scrumhalf Ross Cronje, loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez and hooker Marx for South Africa.

"We know we'll be playing a proud Springbok side which will be determined to rectify what happened (in Auckland)", he said when naming his side on Thursday.

"What I mean by that is mentally, for them, they were all coming in trying to test themselves and say 'listen, we don't need (retired captain Richie) McCaw and (Conrad) Smith and all these guys, we can still do this".

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Australia ended with 15 points after two wins, two draws and two defeats.

The champs also came through after losing playmaker Beauden Barrett to a head knock midway through the first half, and risky winger Nehe Milner-Skudder to a dislocated right shoulder at the end of the half.

Australia's 37-20 win over Argentina in Mendoza moved them into third place in the rankings, leap-frogging Ireland and South Africa. "But working for the mate next to you; that is something you can not coach and that makes me so proud to see how they play for each other". "In that game we took every opportunity, and tonight we didn't", he said. "We kicked well, we only had one contestable that did not work out and in the end, we were two points short".

"They managed to get on top of New Zealand's big boys, and the big thing was the way they played with ball in hand".

"We started the second half at the 50-minute mark so we weren't going to muck around, we were going to get the subs on fairly quickly so that is what we did". The players are getting better and better. That is what we are looking for.

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