Rugby Union: Fox kick-starts All Blacks

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NEW ZEALAND were again indebted to the accuracy of Grant Fox as they staged a second-half recovery to defeat Queensland 26-19 at Ballymore, Brisbane, yesterday.

However, the performance of their forwards will have been a cause of concern for the All Blacks with the second Test against Australia, to be played on the same ground, only a week away.

New Zealand need a victory to square the Bledisloe Cup series and the difficulty of achieving it was highlighted by the way Queensland dominated the forward exchanges, with Rod McCall and John Eales, the Australian locks, having the better of the line-outs.

Tries by Garrick Morgan and Damian Smith, converted by Paul Kahl, gave Queensland a 14-8 half-time lead which would have been greater had Grant Fox not landed a 50-metre penalty on the stroke of the interval, adding to an earlier try by Frank Bunce.

Another penalty by Fox cut the deficit within two minutes of the restart. Walter Little and Va'Aiga Tuigamala both went over for the All Blacks and Fox landed a penalty and a conversion. Morgan replied for Queensland with a second try.

Sebastian Viars scored 20 of his side's points as France defeated Argentina 33-9 in Buenos Aires on Saturday to complete a 2-0 series win in the final match of their tour.

Argentina, who had lost their previous nine Tests and were beaten 27-12 by France in the first match, managed to restrict the tourists to a 9-6 half-time lead.

Despite the support of most of the 40,000 crowd, Argentina were overrun in the second half. Viars, the left wing, scored a try, kicked three penalties and added three conversions. Aubin Hueber crossed the Argentine line and landed a drop goal, and Philippe Saint-Andre also scored a try.

For Argentina, the full-back Santiago Meson kicked two penalties and Lisandro Arbizu was successful with a drop goal from 30 metres.

Neath will become the first Welsh club to meet South African opposition since playing relations between the two countries were resumed when they entertain a mixed-race side at The Gnoll on 3 November.

The Luguyana side, from Western Province, are being assembled by the former Springbok captain and No 8, Morne du Plessis. They will also play Harlequins on the morning of the England-South Africa match on 14 November.