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Tri-Nations: New Zealand beats South Africa 31-17

 South Africa's Jean De Villiers, right, attempts, in vain, to stop New Zealand's Mils Muliaina from scoring try during the Tri Nations rugby match at...
 New Zealand's Israel Dagg scores in the tackle of South Africa's Andries Bekker during the International rugby test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington,...
 New Zealand's Israel Dagg slips the tackle of South Africa's Pierre Spies during the International rugby test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Z...
 South Africa's Schalk Burger scores against New Zealand during the Tri Nations rugby match, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, July ...
 New Zealand's Rene Ranger drops the ball as he was tackled by South Africa's Jean De Villiers during the Tri Nations rugby match, Westpac Stadium in ...

New Zealand South Africa Rugby

South Africa's Jean De Villiers, right, attempts, in vain, to stop New Zealand's Mils Muliaina from scoring try during the Tri Nations rugby match at...

New Zealand South Africa Rugby

New Zealand's Israel Dagg scores in the tackle of South Africa's Andries Bekker during the International rugby test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington,...

New Zealand South Africa Rugby

New Zealand's Israel Dagg slips the tackle of South Africa's Pierre Spies during the International rugby test at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Z...

New Zealand South Africa Rugby

South Africa's Schalk Burger scores against New Zealand during the Tri Nations rugby match, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, July ...

New Zealand South Africa Rugby

New Zealand's Rene Ranger drops the ball as he was tackled by South Africa's Jean De Villiers during the Tri Nations rugby match, Westpac Stadium in ...

New Zealand broke South Africa's grip on the Tri-Nations rugby title when it beat the defending tournament and world champions 31-17 on Saturday.
For the second straight week, the All Blacks ran four tries past the Springboks, following the 32-12 win in last weekend's first test at Auckland with a bonus-point victory.
All of New Zealand's tries were scored by backs as it overwhelmed South Africa with a fast-paced and skillful 15-man game. Center Ma'a Nonu, fullback Mils Muliaina, winger Rene Ranger and his replacement Israel Dagg scored tries to complete a comprehensive All Blacks victory.
Lock Danie Rossouw and flanker Schalk Burger scored tries for the Springboks.
"When you're playing against the world champions or when you have the two top teams in world rugby out there, that's how you test yourself," All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said.
"And to get two wins with two very good performances is immensely pleasing."
New Zealand scored its first two tries through Nonu and Muliaina when South Africa was reduced to 14 men between the fourth and 14th minutes of the first half by the sin-binning of Rossouw.
Rossouw won his place in the Springboks' starting lineup at the expense of Bakkies Botha, who was sin-binned during the first half of last week's test at Auckland and later suspended for nine weeks for headbutting. Roussow's ejection Saturday followed an altercation with McCaw.
His absence cost South Africa dearly as Nonu crossed for a try in the sixth minute and Muliaina in the 12th to give the All Blacks an early 10-0 lead and an advantage they never relinquished.
Rossouw returned from the sin-bin to score South Africa's first try in the 36th minute, cutting New Zealand's lead to 13-7 at halftime.
"It's very hard to judge a 14-man effort. You can't afford to lose a man and to give the All Blacks an advantage. Any chance you give them, they take," Springboks captain John Smit said.
"But I'm far happier with our effort than I was last week. I felt we brought a lot more to the table tonight."
The Springboks were more competitive at set pieces than they had been at Auckland but they remained confounded by the pace of the All Blacks' game and their inability to stamp their more structured style on the match.
New Zealand counter-attacked well from poor Springboks kicks and from forced turnovers, leaving the South Africans gasping when they spread the ball quickly through their backline.
The All Blacks' attack-at-all-costs approach was illustrated by Dagg's game-breaking try in the 64th minute. New Zealand led 21-10 but was still under some pressure when Dagg, who had been on the field only minutes as a replacement for Ranger, received the ball on the left flank and scythed through the tackles of Pierre Spies, Burger, Gio Aplon and Zane Kirschner to score his team's fourth try.
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Scores:
New Zealand 31 (Ma'a Nonu, Mils Muliaina, Rene Ranger, Israel Dagg tries; Daniel Carter conversion, 2 penalties, Piri Weepu penalty), South Africa 17 (Danie Rossouw, Schalk Burger tries; Morne Steyn 2 conversions, penalty). HT: 13-7.