All Blacks edge Boks in 100th test

South Africa went into the match with an inferior record against their archrivals, having only won 36 of the previous 99 encounters.

The All Blacks beat Springboks 19-17 on 25 September 2021. Picture: @springboks/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Saturday 25 September marked a historic day in the rugby world as two of the most successful teams in the game, the Springboks and All Blacks, locked horns for the 100th time.

South Africa went into the match with an inferior record against their archrivals, having only won 36 of the previous 99 encounters.

To make matters worse, the Boks were going into the game after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Australia while New Zealand were flying high and were unbeaten in the Rugby Championship.

The previous meeting between the sides was in the opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup where New Zealand ran out 23-13 winners, we all know what happened after that though.

Jacques Nienaber went with a 5/3 split on the bench drafting in Herschel and Elton Jantjies as well as Frans Steyn as backline cover.

In the starting line-up, Kwagga Smith replaced Franco Mostert while Lood de Jager returned to lock in place of Marvin Orie. Trevor Nyakane also earned his 50th test cap.

New Zealand started the game on the front foot with Will Jordan going over inside the first five minutes after some great work in the back field from Codie Taylor breaking through the defence.

South Africa hit back almost immediately after George Bridge failed to hold onto a high kick from Faf de Klerk with Sbu Nkosi pouncing on the mistake.

Handre Pollard then slotted a couple of penalties as the Boks went 11-7 in front. Jordie Barrett converted a penalty of his own heading into the last 10 minutes of the first half.

Nkosi was then shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock down with New Zealand threatening the try line. Barrett converted the penalty to give his side a 13-11 lead as the half moved into the final five minutes.

That proved to be the last meaningful action of the opening half with the teams going into the changing rooms separated by just two points.

New Zealand applied the pressure in the opening stages of the second half but the Bok defence held firm, defending back-to-back lineouts, 5 metres from their own try line.

South Africa saw off those attacks and started putting moves of their own together and were rewarded as New Zealand conceded a kickable penalty. Pollard obliged and slotted his 3rd 3 pointer of the game.

The slender lead didn’t last long as the Bok defence gave up a penalty of their own. Barrett made no mistake as the All Blacks took a 16-14 lead into the last 20 minutes.

Pollard slotted a fourth penalty of the game to give SA a 17-16 lead after New Zealand were penalised for offside.

The final 10 minutes became a scrap with a number of loose balls and turnovers from both sides. The match on a knife edge in Townsville, it was South Africa that cracked under the pressure as Barrett gave the All Blacks the lead after SA were penalised for holding onto the ball.

The Boks attempted a last push for points but a knock-on from Franco Mostert put a stop that final play as the All Blacks claimed a narrow 19-17 win.

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