As we wait for the opening clash of the 2022 Rugby Championship between the Springboks and All Blacks, look back to 2014 when Pat Lambie held his cool to slot a long-range winner at Ellis Park.
Despite New Zealand having secured the 2014 Rugby Championship title a week earlier in Argentina, the showdown in Johannesburg would be historic. Far from treating it like a ‘dead rubber’, the Springboks raced into a 21-13 half-time lead thanks to Handre Pollard’s brace to go with one of the tries of the year finished off by Francois Hougaard.
The All Blacks produced a comeback attempt in the second half and thought that Dane Coles’ first Test try had done enough, as it gave the visitors a one-point lead going into the final minutes of the match. However, a high tackle from Liam Messam on Schalk Burger – spotted by the TMO – gave replacement Lambie a chance to win it with a penalty from more than 50 metres, and he nailed it to give the Springboks their first win against the All Blacks since 2011.
It was also the All Blacks’ first loss in the expanded Rugby Championship and their first defeat since 2012.
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Subs: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen.
All Blacks – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images