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Sunday, 18 August, 2002, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
All Blacks proud of title
Reuben Thorne led New Zealand to victory in South Africa
Reuben Thorne led New Zealand to victory in Durban
New Zealand captain Reuben Thorne said his team-mates would be "satisfied and proud" to win the Tri-Nations title.

However, he admitted it was "odd" to have watched the decider at home and not to have picked up the trophy himself.

The All Blacks claimed the championship for the fourth time in seven years with South Africa's 33-31 victory over Australia in Johannesburg.

Australia had needed to win by 26 points and score four or more tries to pip New Zealand, after the All Blacks' 30-23 win against South Africa last week in Durban.


The boys will be satisfied and proud of what they've achieved
Reuben Thorne

Thorne, who watched Saturday's game at home in Christchurch, said: "It was bit odd watching it, and getting the result and not being able to be there.

"But it's just the way it went. It can't be helped.

"But certainly the boys will be satisfied and proud of what they've achieved."

Upper hand

New Zealand Rugby Football Union acting chief executive Steve Tew collected the trophy on Thorne's behalf.

"Steve Tew rang me after he got back to his hotel to congratulate us and say that he would be bringing the trophy home shortly," said Thorne.

Australia have had the better of international competition in recent years, winning the last two Tri-Nations titles and the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand last won the Tri-Nations in 1999 and Thorne admitted it was "good to get something back".


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