Cheslin Kolbe (Getty Images)
- The Boks haven’t always been competitive in New Zealand, but when they have, it has been memorable.
- They’ve only won four Tests in New Zealand since 1992, but those ones have gone down in the annals of Bok history.
- The Springboks will be meeting the All Blacks for the 100th time when they clash in Townsville on Saturday.
The Springboks, like most rugby nations have had precious little success in New Zealand, but have contributed to some spectacular matches.
There were some snooze fests and blowouts that signified the standing gulf in class between the teams, but they were rarely evenly matches, little separated them.
With the 100th Test between the teams looming in Townsville on Saturday, Sport24 looks back at five hi-octane games between the teams in New Zealand in the professional era:
New Zealand 23-21 South Africa, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 24 July 2004
Jake White’s first All Black game as Springbok coach was nothing short of amazing, especially with the start they had in the game. First-half tries from Jean de Villiers, Jacques Cronje and Fourie du Preez got the Boks going, but Dan Carter’s boot kept the All Blacks in the game.
Carter helped whittle down the Boks’ lead to 21-18 and a last-minute try by Doug Howlett ensured the All Blacks kept what was their six-year unbeaten home streak against the Springboks intact.
New Zealand 31-27 South Africa, Carisbrook, Dunedin, 27 August 2005
And with this win, they made it seven, but again, it required a 76th-minute try from hooker Keven Mealamu to get the All Blacks over the line and keep the record intact. Again the Boks went toe to toe with the All Blacks in this game, with Jacque Fourie, Bryan Habana and Ricky Januarie being the try-scorers. The All Blacks had just a bit more firepower with four tries and the Boks would have to wait a little under three years to beat the All Blacks in New Zealand.
New Zealand 28-30 South Africa, Carisbrook, Dunedin, 12 July 2008
It was Ricky Januarie’s legendary chip, chase and score in the 75th minute that settled this game as a contest. The boot was dominant, with Dan Carter, Conrad Smith, Percy Montgomery and Butch James trading a combined 11 penalties and two drop goals.
The Boks were fresh off a 19-8 defeat the week before in Wellington where they could have and should have done better.
They indeed did, even though they finished the game with 14 men after Victor Matfield was yellow-carded in the 72nd minute.
Januarie’s try was worthy of winning any Test, especially one that would turn out to be the last the Boks would play at a ground where they hadn’t won since 1921.
New Zealand 29-15 South Africa, Eden Park, Auckland, 14 September 2013
This game was much closer than the margin suggested and if Romain Poite applied the letter of the law, the Boks would have been able to play with 15 men for the better part of the game.
Poite yellow-carded Bismarck du Plessis for what was a game-ending, but legal tackle on Dan Carter in the 15th minute.
It was a decision that even the New Zealand commentators did not agree with and when Du Plessis received a legitimate yellow card in the 41st minute, he had to be sent off.
To be fair, the All Blacks were always going to have more class than the Springboks and it showed in this game.
However, the Boks asked them pressing questions that showed up the dark side of officiating.
New Zealand 34-36 South Africa, Wellington Regional Stadium, 15 September 2018
After three games that produced two 57s and a 41 home and away, the Springboks were given little chance of winning this game.
The Boks had last tasted success in Wellington in 1998 and after losing to Australia and Argentina in the lead up to the game, they were written off.
It was a try-fest for the ages, with 11 scored, but final details would show that the Handre Pollard’s boot was the difference with four conversions and a penalty to Beauden Barrett’s two conversions from six tries.
The Boks narrowly lost the return game at home, but the message had been sent out to the All Blacks that the Boks were no longer pushovers.