Shell iconic moment

Ricky Januarie's individual brilliance helped the Springboks score a rare win against the All Blacks in New Zealand in 2008.

The world champion Springboks had begun the 2008 Tri-Nations with a 19-8 defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, with captain John Smit suffering a groin injury during an off-the-ball tackle by Brad Thorn that ruled him out of the rest of the tournament. Victor Matfield therefore led the team on to Carisbrook, where no Springbok side had won in seven attempts dating back to 1921.

The Boks were 17-15 ahead at the break thanks to a try from JP Pietersen, three Percy Montgomery penalties and a Butch James drop goal, but the All Blacks took the lead when Sione Lauaki scored a try at the end of the third quarter. With seven minutes to go, Matfield was yellow-carded for a high tackle and Dan Carter's penalty made it 28-23.

But the 14-man Boks hit back when Januarie broke away from a ruck just outside the All Blacks' 10m line, chipped over the head of Leon MacDonald, regathered possession and dived over the tryline. Frans Steyn kicked the pressure conversion, and while the All Blacks pushed hard for another score, with Carter missing a drop goal, the Boks hung on for a historic 30-28 victory.

Peter de Villiers, South Africa's first black coach, had been under pressure both in New Zealand and back at home after the world champions lost 19-8 in Wellington the previous week.

‘I always believed in the players and tonight they put it together because they believed in themselves. The players worked really hard in the week before the game and, because they are the world champions, they knew they had to uplift their game,’ he said.

‘It took us 100 years to win here and hopefully we won’t have to wait another 100 years to win again,’ said centre Jean de Villiers. ‘We’re ecstatic. We worked hard all week on the things we did wrong in Wellington, we put those things right and obviously we got the result.’

In total, 43 of the 58 points scored in the highest-scoring match between the teams in Dunedin came from kicks. The teams were never separated by more than the six-point margin the All Blacks enjoyed after eight minutes and Carter’s first two penalties.

‘It was about territory,’ All Blacks captain Rodney So’oialo said. ‘We played the game at the wrong end of the field and got punished. As everyone could see, they played the game until the final whistle and stole the game away from us.’

Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Post by

Jon Cardinelli