While the Springboks won the war at Ellis Park on Saturday, Sam Whitelock won his battle against Victor Matfield, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.
Both No 5 locks played the full 80 minutes. Both made four carries and 12 tackles.
But it was at the lineout where Whitelock stood tall.
While he won three lineouts on his own ball compared to Matfield's four, the All Black stole two of the Boks', including one that led to Dane Coles' try.
Matfield was unable to steal any of the visitors' throws and also had the ball ripped off him in the tackle in the 73rd minute, when the Boks were in a good attacking position.
The 37-year-old did not have a poor game by any means, but he was certainly overshadowed by his 25-year-old direct opponent.
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