Heroic Springboks bounce back against All Blacks

Elton Jantjies kicked a penalty after the hooter to hand the Springboks a memorable victory over the All Blacks on the Gold Coast on Saturday.

Matchflow: The first half of the match was more or less dominated by the Springboks, but they went into the break six points behind thanks to some superb finishing by the All Blacks.

Jacques Nienaber’s team had nothing but pride to play for, but looked far better on attack. The Boks had better variety between kicking and behind-the-back passes with Willie le Roux, in particular, far more involved in creating opportunities.

The tempo of the first half was rapid, started by a try by Damian de Allende, created from an All Blacks error and a wonderful offload from Lukhanyo Am.

Sevu Reece fired back for the All Blacks with a try of his own, before Handre Pollard and Jordie Barrett traded penalties. The Springboks enjoyed plenty of territorial dominance, particularly between the 15th and 25th minute, but could not make their opportunities count.

By contrast, the All Blacks punished a lax period from the Springboks in the final 10 minutes, with Ardie Savea finishing a wonderfully worked move from a lineout and then Brad Weber pouncing to put them 20-14 up at half time. 

The Springboks brought Frans Steyn on for Le Roux at half time and the veteran made an immediate impact, winning a 50-22 lineout for his side early in the second half.

The momentum continued to go the way of South Africa as they opened up a 25-20 lead thanks to a penalty from Pollard and Elton Jantjies and a well-worked try from Makazole Mapimpi.

However, in the final 15 minutes, the All Blacks wrestled their way back into the Test, thanks in part to some debatable calls from referee Matthew Carley.

In a dramatic closing period, Jantjies slotted a drop goal to put the Springboks 28-26 up, but the All Blacks won the ball back from the subsequent kick-off and won a penalty, which Barrett slotted to give them a 29-28 lead.

In the final minute of play, the All Blacks had possession in Bok territory, but Duane Vermeulen managed to win a breakdown penalty. Steyn kicked the ball into the All Blacks’ 22 and the New Zealanders gave away a penalty for offside in front of the posts, with Jantjies showing his composure to win the Test.

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Dylan Jack