Rugby Championship News

South Africa beat New Zealand in Wellington




New Zealand will be aiming for a seventh straight victory over South Africa this weekend and if they achieve this, they will wrap up the Rugby championship before they play the Springboks in South Africa.

The All Blacks have played South Africa 95 times since 1921, winning 57 matches (60% success rate).

  • New Zealand has won 11 of their last 12 games against South Africa, including the last six on the bounce by an average margin of 23 points.
  • South Africa have lost eight consecutive games in New Zealand against the All Blacks and have not reached 20 points in such fixtures since racking up 32 points in 2009.
  • The Kiwis have a win rate of 87% at Westpac Stadium, having lost just three times in 18 years of hosting Test matches at the ground (W20) and are undefeated in their six games at the ground against South Africa.
  • The All Blacks have scored 40+ points in their last two games; they have not scored 40+ points in three or more matches since scores of 58 (vs Namibia), 43 (vs Georgia), 47 (vs Tonga) and 62 (vs France) at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
  • South Africa will be out to avoid losing a third Rugby Championship game in a row for the first time since 2016, back then they lost to Argentina then Australia away from home before travelling to New Zealand and losing, their same schedule as this run.
  • The All Blacks have the best success rates at both the scrum (100%) and lineout (83%) in this edition of The Rugby Championship, they’ve won all 13 of their own scrums so far.
  • New Zealand has scored 87 second-half points this tournament, more than the combined second-half totals (83) of all other teams in The Rugby Championship, but South Africa (18) have conceded the fewest second-half points of any team.
  • The Springboks (22) have averaged the fewest missed tackles per game so far in this tournament, missing just 16 tackles last week; however, it is New Zealand who has the best tackle success rate of any side (86%)
  • Ben Smith had gained 270 metres in this tournament, the most of any player, whilst he also tops the charts for offloads (7) and clean breaks (11).
  • Siya Kolisi has beaten 18 defenders in The Rugby Championship, more than twice as many as any other forward, and trails Waisake Naholo (19) by just one.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a boisterous Westpac Stadium. Oh dear, Handré Pollard starts the game by kicking the ball over the All Blacks dead-ball line. The hosts will have a scrum on halfway.

2.00: Eben Etzebeth takes out Aaron Smith without the ball. Beauden Barrett kicks for the corner.

3.00: A knock on by Sam Cane gives South Africa a chance to counter-attack, but the move breaks down and Pollard clears to touch.

5.00: TRY! Jordie Barrett takes his brother’s short pass and ghosts through a gap to open the scoring. It his is the fullback’s fourth Test try in seven matches. 5-0

6.00: MISS! Beauden Barrett can’t pull his kick around. 5-0

8.00: Kieran Read wins the turnover at the ruck, the ball is shifted wide at speed, but Beuden Barrett’s pass is poor, leading Rieko Ioane to knock the ball forward.

10.00: The Boks are under the pump. Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk both make try-saving tackles near their goal-line. The visitors win the ball from a knock on, and with an advantage, Pollard puts in a cross-kick from his own try-line, but it is not taken. Five-metre scrum to the Boks.

12.00: Liam Squire is pinged for playing the ball off his feet. Pollard clears to the halfway line.

14.00: Another turnover. South Africa is losing the collisions. They look panicked and their rush-defence is not coming up together, allowing the Kiwis to find holes in the outside channels.

15.00: It’s all New Zealand at the moment. The home team are wreaking havoc with their pace and are finding space out wide.

16.00: TRY! Aaron Smith sends the ball wide. Codie Taylor takes the ball to the line and puts Ben Smith away down the sideline. Aaron Smith chases his namesake and collects the inside ball for the try. Wonderful support lines by the Kiwis. 10-0

17.00: CONVERSION! Beauden Barrett makes no mistake this time. 12-0

19.00: The Springboks are punching through the All Blacks defence and are inside their 22.

20.00: TRY! Malcolm Marx and Willie le Roux combine to send Aphiwe Dyantyi away on the right-hand touchline. The winger cruises over for his fourth Test try. 12-5

21.00: CONVERSION! Pollard won’t miss from in front. 12-7

24.00: Marx misses his jumper and the All Blacks are on the attack. Somehow, Frans Malherbe wins the turnover and sets up a counter-attack on the right flank. Le Roux puts in a cheeky grubber for Dyantyi, who almost gets away from Beauden Barrett, but his chip-kick goes straight into touch.

25.00: TRY! Oh dear, what are the All blacks doing? Le Roux hounds Rieko Ioane after Jordie Barrett’s terrible quick-throw. Le Roux picks up the bouncing ball and races away for his 12th Test try. 12-all

26.00: CONVERSION! Pollard gives his team an unlikely lead. 12-14

29.00: Beauden Barrett attempts a cross-kick from inside his 22, but the ball sails into touch, giving the Boks good field position.

31.00: Le Roux wins the penalty at the breakdown after Beauden Barrett had initially won the turnover. Pollard kicks to the corner. Squire is being seen by the medic after taking a blow to the shoulder from Malherbe.

32.00: TRY! South Africa go to their driving maul and bulldoze the All Blacks. The maul is stopped, but the Boks peel to the right and Marx powers his way through the defenders to score. Wow! 12-19

33.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots the wide kick. 12-21

36.00: The hosts are going through the phases and are inside the Boks 22. It’s been 13 phases and they have the advantage.

38.00: TRY! Rieko Ioane has space on the outside and strolls over for the score. It was a relentless barrage by the All Blacks which the Boks could not halt. 17-21

39.00: MISS! Barrett’s kick shaves the right-hand post. 17-21

41.00: The Boks get awarded a rare penalty at the breakdown and will have a chance to make it a seven-point ball-game.

42.00: PENALTY! Pollard extends the Springboks’ lead on the stroke of halftime. 17-24

The halftime score was New Zealand 17 South Africa 24

41.00: PEEEEP We are back underway in Wellington.

42.00: TRY! Aaron Smith takes a quick-tap penalty, shifts the ball to Squire, who plays Anton Lienert-Brown, however, the pass is intercepted by Cheslin Kolbe and the utility back races away for the try. 17-29

43.00: CONVERSION! Pollard has his kicking boots on today, slotting his fourth conversion. 17-31

46.00: De Klerk is a terrier. He forces the knock-on and the Springboks have the scrum which is on their 10m line.

48.00: Both teams are starting to make changes. The New Zealand bench is famous for killing Test matches, it’s the Springboks bench that will be crucial if the visitors hope to win.

49.00: New Zealand gets a penalty near the Boks try-line. They opt for touch and the lineout.

50.00: Strong defending by the Boks, however, Warren Whiteley is caught offsides. Read decides to take a scrum.

51.00: Nigel Owens with another dodgy call, this time he harshly pings the Boks front row for not driving square. The green and gold scrum dismantled the All Blacks.

52.00: TRY! Wouldn’t you know it, Ioane bashes his way over for the score. 22-31

53.00: CONVERSION! Beauden Barrett slots the touchline conversion. 24-31

56.00: South Africa causing the All Blacks problems with their off-loading and quick hands. They have the Kiwis under pressure with wave after wave of attacks.

57.00: TRY! Dyantyi at the double with some fancy footwork. Wow, the Boks have brought some razzle-dazzle to Wellington. Elton Jantjies has made a huge difference at flyhalf, combining with Pollard, who has shifted to inside centre. 24-36

58.00: MISS! Pollard can’t swing his kick around. 24-36

60.00: Beauden Barrett sends the penalty to the corner.

61.00: TRY! The All blacks launch a rolling maul, shift to the left and Taylor flops over the whitewash. 29-36

62.00: MISS! Barrett’s kick comes back off the post; that is a poor kick. 29-36

64.00: South Africa is starting to give away cheap penalties, five in the last 15 minutes.

66.00: Patrick Tuipulotu knocks on near the Boks’ try-line and Jantjies relieves the pressure. On comes the Beast!

67.00: YELLOW CARD! Le Roux is off for cynical play. Whiteley took down TJ Perenara, but the Boks go offsides under their post. Scrum.

69.00: BIG defence from Kolbe. De Klerk boots the ball down the field from inside his goal-line after a quick throw.

70.00: A mistake by the All Blacks gives the Boks a reprieve on their try-line. The Springboks’ scramble defence has been immense. Whiteley has been immense.

73.00: Nigel Owens with another dodgy call, this time he plays a very long advantage for offsides.

74.00: TRY! Ardie Savea swivels his way over the try-line after a powerful driving maul. Great work by the All Blacks forwards. 34-36

75.00: MISS! Beauden Barrett hits the post again. 34-36

78.00: Ofa Tu’ungafasi knocks on near the Springboks goal-line. It came after a counter-attack from halfway when Francois Louw took his eyes off the ball and lost it forward. Pollard’s clearance is poor, giving the Kiwis a lineout inside the Boks 22.

80.00: The All Blacks are short, and Owens gives the home team another chance to score.

81.00: The scrum goes down. Reset. The hooter sounds.

84.00: The All blacks batter the Springboks’ line, they go through a dozen phases. The Boks are hanging on. New Zealand should attempt a drop-kick, but they keep going. Eventually, the ball comes out, the hosts go wide, but the ball is lost forward. The Boks clear and win a famous victory against the odds and Nigel Owens. Wow!

Game over.

In the meantime why not have a look at the match preview.

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The final score is New Zealand 34 (17) South Africa 36 (24)


New Zealand
Tries – J. Barrett, A. Smith, R. Ioane (2), Taylor, A. Savea
Pen –
Con – B. Barrett (2)
Drop –
Cards –

South Africa
Tries – Dyantyi (2), Le Roux, Marx, Kolbe
Pen – Pollard
Con – Pollard (4)
Drop –
Cards – Le Roux (Yellow, 67′)

Match Officials
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant Ref 1: Pascal Gauzere (FFR)
Assistant Ref 2: Nic Berry (ARU)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (RFU)


New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe.

Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Jack Goodhue, 23 Damian McKenzie.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Rudolph Snyman, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ross Cronje, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe.

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