The Springboks recorded a famous victory over their arch rivals the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday. The Boks won 36-34 after leading half-time 24-17.
New Zealand took charge of the match early on by leading 12-0 after 15 minutes. Fullback Jordie Barrett and scrumhalf Aaron Smith scored the tries with flyhalf Beauden Barrett converting one of the tries.
The Springboks looked like they were going to be thrashed again by a big margin, but the last 65 minutes was probably the best rugby this side has produced in three seasons.
South Africa replied with three tries through fullback Willie le Roux, wing Aphiwe Dyantyi and hooker Malcolm Marx. Flyhalf Handre Pollard converted all three tries and suddenly the men from South Africa were leading 21-12. An upset was on the cards. New Zealand wing Rieko Ioane scored just before half-time and Handre Pollard was successful with a penalty.
In the second half Springbok utility back Cheslin Kolbe replaced centre Lukhanyo Am and Handre Pollard moved to inside centre after an injury to inside centre Damien de Allende. Elton Jantjies moved to flyhalf. Jesse Kriel did service at outside centre with Kolbe on the wing.
Kolbe was the next to score with an intercept try that saw the men from South Africa take a 14 point lead.
As always New Zealand will never lie down and wing Rieko Ioane scored his second try. Moments later Dyantyi scored his second try, before All Black hooker Codie Taylor scored after a strong rolling maul with 20 minutes left to play.
Replacement loose forward Ardie Savea showed pure strength to score a try, but Barret’s kicking boot was cold as he missed the conversion to close the gap to two points.
The South Africans showed guts, determination and passion as their defence was superb making tackle after tackle to hold the Kiwi’s out during the last five minutes after the hosts through everything at them.
The Springboks returned to their traditional strength with strong forward play and bullish defence. Hopefully this is the win the green and gold needed to return to a powerhouse of world rugby.
Written by Carl Coertzen – 16/09/18