News 14 september — 16:19

All Blacks skills set them apart as title beckons against Boks

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The sound of a tightly spinning rugby ball whistling through the air before it slapped into a massive hand resonated as the All Blacks completed their preparations on Friday for their Rugby Championship clash against South Africa, Euronews reports.

From the hip, with a flick of the wrists, and back and forth - prop Ofa Tuungafasi and lock Patrick Tuipulotu demonstrated the ball handling skills of the team's tight forwards that make them the envy of world rugby and have propelled the All Blacks to within sight of their third successive Rugby Championship title.

The world champions have recorded three bonus point wins so far, running in 18 tries, one of which scored by lock Brodie Retallick who dummied and stepped inside Wallabies flyhalf Bernard Foley in a 35-metre run in their 38-13 victory in the first match has become a YouTube highlight.

Kieran Read's side have 15 competition points as a result of the victories and can sew up the title if they beat South Africa with a bonus point at Wellington Regional Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 0735 GMT) and move to 20 points on the table.

The Springboks, who have lost their last two games, have six points, while Australia and Argentina, who also play on Saturday in the Gold Coast, sit on four.

"There's something pretty big at the end of the day if we get it right around the Rugby Championship so that is in our sights," Read told reporters in brilliant sunshine at the conclusion of their final training run.

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