Ricky Januarie's 75th-minute try gave the Springboks a first ever win at the House of Pain in 2008, recalls SIMON BORCHARDT.
The world champion Springboks had begun the 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 since 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 Ricky 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 victory.
However, that would prove to be the high point of the Boks' Tri-Nations campaign as they lost 16-9 to the Wallabies in Perth a week later, the All Blacks at Newlands (19-0) and the Wallabies at Kings Park (27-15).
The Boks thrashed Australia 53-8 at Ellis Park, but it didn't prevent them from finishing last on the log.
All Blacks – Try: Sione Lauaki. Conversion: Dan Carter. Penalties: Carter (6). Drop goal: Carter.
Springboks – Tries: JP Pietersen, Ricky Januarie. Conversion: Frans Steyn. Penalties: Percy Montgomery (3), Butch James (2). Drop goal: James.
All Blacks – 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu (Leon MacDonald, 41), 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Andy Ellis, 8 Jerome Kaino (Sione Lauaki, 54), 7 Rodney So'oialo (c), 6 Adam Thomson, 5 Ali Williams (Kevin O'Neill, 29), 4 Anthony Boric, 3 John Afoa (Neemiah Tialata, 70), 2 Andrew Hore (Keven Mealamu, 57), 1 Tony Woodcock.
Springboks – 15 Percy Montgomery (Conrad Jantjes, 62), 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adrian Jacobs (Frans Steyn, 47), 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Butch James (Ruan Pienaar, 74), 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Joe van Niekerk (Luke Watson, 62), 7 Juan Smith, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Bakkies Botha (Andries Bekker, 51-62, 67), 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Bismarck du Plessis (Schalk Brits, 74), 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp (Brian Mujati, 54-62).
Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images