Aaron Smith believes win over South Africa reasserts All Blacks’ supremacy


They then let South Africa back in with a soft try, and the Springboks closed within four points with a quarter to go.

If the All Blacks' handling and passing skills don't desert them, they should continue to prosper in the remaining pool games against Canada, Namibia and Italy.

While there was a lot the All Blacks could improve on, Hansen and Coles were impressed by the team's defense against the Springboks. South Africa's breakneck line speed stifled Richie Mo'unga and his starstudded backline early on.

Kotaro Matsushima's first hat trick for Japan proved a vital one, since it helped the Rugby World Cup host overcome an error-strewn start to beat unfancied Russian Federation 30-10 in the tournament's opening match on Friday.

Critiquing that chance lost when Mo'unga hauled him back from a fine finish, Kolbe said: "He showed a good pair of wheels". He led a surge down the right touch line with support from Aaron Smith and Ardie Savea.

As has been widely spoken about after the Test, the Springboks found themselves on the wrong end of referee Jerome Garces' whistle.

Tries from George Bridge and Scott Barrett helped the champions to overcome their Southern Hemisphere rivals in the game of the tournament so far.

He is punishing on defence, has a huge workload, is impressive at the breakdown and even more so with the ball. "It was a tough game but we are very happy to start with a win", he said. They were potent, that shows their class.

The 23-13 results means that New Zealand look destined to win their group and face the runner-up of Ireland's group, Pool A.

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The Boks sprung into life from the start and the first 20 minutes resembled something of a green battering ram hammering away at their black-shirted opponents. A routine ruck set up by lock Eben Etzebeth wasn't covered, amazingly, at its most exposed point - the middle.

And it was South Africa who opened the scoring on two minutes through a Handre Pollard penalty.

Man of the Match Matsushima replied with Japan's first try seven minutes later but it was not until he went over for his second just before the break that the error-prone home side took the lead at 12-7.

Pieter-Steph du Toit's try and a Pollard drop-goal made it tense before Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett penalties.

Regardless of a extra temperate yr by their very own lofty requirements, New Zealand nonetheless possess ample class, and rely a number of the world's absolute best performers amongst their squad.

Things didn't look great for them in the opening ten minutes of their pool clash with South Africa, which is just approaching half-time - but two flashes of complete and under brilliance will see then lead by 14 points at the break. They pile pressure on you.

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The All Blacks have an 11-day turnaround before facing Canada on October 2 in Oita, then only a four-day turn before meeting Namibia in Tokyo.