Ahead of the much-anticipated clash between the All Blacks and Springboks on Saturday, JOHN GOLIATH looks back at the defining moments from that epic 2018 Rugby Championship fixture between the two teams in Wellington.
20th minute: After being overrun by the All Blacks and going 12-0 down after 15 minutes, the Boks could have capitulated and suffered another 57-0 defeat like they did in 2017. However, wing Aphiwe Dyantyi brilliantly rounded off a great team try to open their scoring and give the South Africans some confidence.
25th: The All Blacks’ execution, with or without the ball, is what makes them such an awesome unit. But this Jordie Barrett brain explosion was as a result of the Boks’ physicality in the tackle and at the breakdown. The All Blacks tried to speed the game up, but Barrett’s ill-advised quick lineout to Rieko Ioane bounced into Willie le Roux’s accepting hands and he scored under the posts.
33rd: The Boks, while leading 14-12, scored a crucial try before half time through Malcolm Marx, who went over after a great rolling maul. It was a great reward for the Boks’ forward effort at that point. Also, it gave them a slender lead going into the break after the All Blacks scored shortly before, which they tend to do in most Test matches they play.
42nd: The All Blacks were looking to up the tempo in the second half and shift the ball away from the Springboks’ inspired pack of forwards. Scrumhalf Aaron Smith decided to tap and go after they were awarded a penalty and flung the ball out wide in his own half. However, Cheslin Kolbe was lurking on the right wing and gladly intercepted a loose pass to score.
57th: Shortly after Ioane scored his second, the Boks hit back with another wonderful team try. There was some sharp handling and great angled running. It looked like the introduction of flyhalf Elton Jantjies – and Handré Pollard moving to inside centre – gave the team a bit of oomph on attack. Dyantyi would finish off the move to claim a brace on the day.
66th: Warren Whiteley made over 20 tackles in that match, but his effort to haul in TJ Perenara inches from the goalline was probably the most important one of his life. It stopped the All Blacks from potentially levelling the match. The Boks, though, did concede a penalty and Willie le Roux was sent off for a professional foul.
74th: The 14-men South Africans managed to keep the All Blacks out until the 74th minute following Le Roux’s yellow. However, Beauden Barrett hit the upright with the conversion from almost right in front – the second time he had done so. The Boks went into the last five minutes of the match with a slender two-point lead.
83rd: ‘The Springboks are going to survive this and they have scored a famous victory.’ Those were the words of New Zealand commentator Grant Nisbett after referee Nigel Owens blew the final whistle. Dyantyi’s final act of the match was not a sparkling try, but a desperate grab at All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie’s arm, which led to a knock-on. If the ball had gone out wide, Ben Smith would have probably scored the winning try for the All Blacks.
Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images