The decision on the participation of the Springboks in the forthcoming Rugby Championship was probably made a while ago, but if it wasn’t, the frenetic and dramatic eight minutes played after the hooter in Sunday’s Bledisloe Cup game should have swayed sentiment towards staying at home.

With the score 16-all, the All Blacks and Wallabies took turns at hammering away for the win as a succession of penalties coupled with a willingness to keep ball in hand when possession was turned over kept the game going. You have to be supremely conditioned for international rugby to be able to keep up that frenetic pace and to defend like that.

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