Rugby Championship News

New Zealand beat South Africa in Pretoria




South Africa upset New Zealand in Wellington, but the Kiwis wrapped up their sixth consecutive Rugby Championship when the defeated Argentina 17-35 in Buenos Aires, last weekend. 

The Springboks held on in an epic battle to beat New Zealand 34-36 at the Westpac Stadium, earning their 36th win over the All Blacks in this storied history.

The All Blacks will be out for revenge in Pretoria after coming in for heavy criticism in the wake of the Bok defeat.

  • Rassie Erasmus’ men will be gunning for back-to-back victories against New Zealand for the first time since they won three on the bounce in 2009.
  • New Zealand has won their last three games against the Springboks on South African soil, but they’ve never won four straight.
  • South Africa has a win rate of 77% at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, having lost just eight Test matches at the ground (W27) – however, four of those losses have come against the Kiwis, with their only victory against the All Blacks at this venue coming in 1970.
  • Since Argentina joined the competition in 2012 the All Blacks have never lost more than one match in a single edition of the Rugby Championship, winning 34 of 38 games in that period (D1, L3).
  • Steve Hansen’s side has conceded 60 points to South Africa in their two most recent encounters; in the four games prior to this, they conceded a combined total of just 46 points.
  • New Zealand has averaged the most metres gained (650) and defenders beaten (36) per match in The Rugby Championship 2018.
  • South Africa has recorded the lowest tallies in these categories with 360 metres and 19 defenders beaten.
  • The great rivals both converted all their goal attempts last weekend (each kicking five from five), the first time either side had done so in this year’s tournament.
  • The All Blacks have conceded the most turnovers in The Rugby Championship this year (91), South Africa has won the most (39).
  • Rieko Ioane has scored 20 tries in 19 Tests for the All Blacks, including four in three games against the Boks.
  • Eben Etzebeth has won 26 lineouts in this tournament, the most of any player and 10 more than Kieran Read (16).

Match detail

There has been a late change to the All Blacks. Jack Goodhue has fallen ill and will be replaced by Ryan Crotty. Anton Lienert-Brown comes onto the bench.

The All Blacks have won 100% of their scrums in this season’s competition and nine scrum-penalties.

In the last 20 minutes in Wellington, South Africa made 131 tackles to New Zealand’s four. Yes, 131 to FOUR!

The last the Kiwis suffered two defeats in the tournament was during the 2011 Tri-Nations.

Willie le Roux makes his 50th Test appearance for the Boks.

We are waiting for the kick-off, but first, the national anthems and the haka. 

1.00: PEEEEP! We are underway at a sunny Loftus Versfeld after an intense Kapa o Pango, drowned out by a partisan Pretoria crowd. Wow! That was special.

2.00: New Zealand knock-on, giving the Boks a scrum inside the Kiwi 10 metres. It is reset.

3.00: Kieran Read strays offsides. The All Blacks are rushing the attackers and the No 8 is caught by the referee. Handre Pollard calls for the tee.

5.00: PENALTY! Pollard lots the 56-metre long kick to give the hosts an early lead. 3-0

6.00: New Zealand has a scrum inside the Springboks 22 after some sloppy play after the restart.

7.00: Faf de Klerk, like the terrier he was in Wellington, hustles Aaron Smith and wins a penalty for his team after Smith lost the ball forward and it was gathered by a team-mate. Pollard clears to halfway.

9.00: Willie le Roux, after several phases, kicks behind the Kiwis back-three but Aphiwe Dyantyi can’t get to the ball because it rolls into touch.

10.00: New Zealand win the free-kick and Beauden Barrett clears to the halfway line.

11.00: Aaron Smith is penalised for going off his feet. Pollard puts the ball out by the Kiwis 22.

12.00: There’s a linesman flag for a shoulder charge by Scott Barrett on Eben Etzebeth in the ruck. Pollard kicks to the corner instead of taking the points.

13.00: Damian de Allende is held up under the posts. Read is spoken to about giving away five penalties in a row. Sonny Bill Williams is pinged and Pollard calls for the tee.

13.00: PENALTY! Pollard doubles his side’s lead. 6-0

15.00: South Africa are getting over the gain-line with relative ease. They knock-on in attack and give possession to the visitors.

17.00: Sonny Bill is smoked in midfield, loses the ball and Siya Kolisi kicks deep, but the ball is dotted down in the in-goal area. It’s a 22-drop-out.

18.00: Francois Louw knocks on, giving the All Blacks a scrum inside their half. Barrett takes the ball at first receiver but kicks the ball out on the full.

20.00: De Klerk keeps the Boks on the front foot with a grubber to the New Zealand 22. The lineout is taken quickly and the ball launched to the halfway. Lineout to the Boks.

21.00: Malcolm Marx throws skew, it’s the only weakness in his game. It lets the All Blacks off the hook.

23.00: Le roux wins the aerial encounter after taking Pollard’s bomb. The Boks go wide, De Allende kicks behind the opposition’s back-three, but South Africa give away a penalty.

24.00: Etzebeth gives away another penalty for collapsing the lineout. Barrett will take a shot at goal.

25.00: PENALTY! Barrett makes no mistake from distance, striking the ball well and sending it through the middle of the posts to halve the deficit. 6-3

26.00: Some brilliant work by Sam Cane earns his side a penalty after the restart. Barrett kicks to the corner.

28.00: New Zealand batter the line, Smith throws the ball into the retreating Pieter-Steph du Toit but referee Angus Gardner is having none of it. Shannon Frizell is then pinged for going offsides and the Boks survive.

30.00: Another magical kick by De Klerk puts South Africa on the front foot and into Kiwi territory.

31.00: New Zealand set up a driving maul but they bring it down, killing momentum, so Aaron Smith clears to halfway.

32.00: Marx loses the ball in contact, the Kiwis counter-attack, but South Africa claim the ball and attacks down the wing. Dyantyi races down the sideline tries an offload to a support runner, but steps in touch.

33.00: Dyantyi, taking a high-ball, loses it forward. Scrum to New Zealand.

35.00: The visitors win a scrum-free kick and Read calls for another scrum.

36.00: Beauden Barrett attempts a long-range drop-goal, but the ball sails wide. New Zealand had an advantage for an earlier infringement and will get an opportunity for another scrum or penalty. Sam Cane leaves the field with an injury.

36.00: PENALTY! Barrett levels from distance. 6-all

40.00: South Africa goes 16 phases, but De Allende can’t get past his man. He offloads to Cheslin Kolbe, but the winger is tackled into touch.

41.00: The Boks win the turnover and try to find a gap in the black wall, however, they lose the ball easily and the All Blacks kick the ball into touch after the hooter sounds.

The halftime score was South Africa 6 New Zealand 6

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Pretoria.

42.00: Marx wins the penalty at the breakdown; he is the breakdown king. Pollard launches to the Kiwi 22.

43.00: New Zealand wins the lineout and clears with a Barrett bomb.

44.00: TRY! Le Roux takes Barrett’s high-ball and starts a counter-attack. Several phases later, the fullback ghosts through the All Blacks, offloads to Jesse Kriel, in support, for the score. 11-6

45.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 13-6

46.00: The changes come before the 50-minute mark for the visitors. Hansen must feel it’s time for a change. South Africa ahead on points, both on the scoreboard and in the moral victory-stakes.

47.00: Ryan Crotty is isolated. Kriel gets up after Le Roux’s tackle and wins the penalty. Pollard calls for the tee.

48.00: PENALTY! Pollard’s kick drops over the crossbar from 57 metres out and near the corner of the halfway line. What a kick! 16-6

50.00: Read pulls down Franco Mostert in the lineout and conceded another penalty. Poor from the Kiwi skipper.

51.00: The Boks get so close to another try, but De Klerk passes the ball into touch, hitting the cameraman in the process. He laughs, but that was a gilt-edged opportunity to increase the lead.

52.00: TRY! Kolisi shrugs off Tim Perry, offloads to De Allende, who races away to the delight of the home support. Wow! 21-6

53.00: CONVERSION! Pollard adds the extras. 23-6

55.00: TRY! Aaron Smith scores from the restart and silences the crowd. It looked like he took a forward pass but the ref and TMO allow the score. 23-11

55.00: CONVERSION! Richie Mo’unga slots the kick. It was a forward pass by the All Blacks. 23-13

57.00: Beauden Barrett moves to fullback after Ben Smith is subbed; he saves the day but carries the ball over his goal line. Five-metre scrum to the Boks.

59.00: Kolbe goes close, is tackled short and looks to have lost the ball. The referee is checking for a double movement by the winger. He looks to be short.

59.00: TRY! Kolbe is awarded the score. He looked short, but the TMO awards the try after saying the winger reached out legally and got the ball on the line. 28-13

60.00: CONVERSION! Pollard slots another sideline kick. 30-13

62.00: TRY! Rieko Ioane dots down in the corner after some slick handling by the backs. 30-18

63.00: MISS! Mo’unga misses from the touchline. 30-18

65.00: Some magic by Barrett, kicking the ball back into SA’s half after a sublime kick from Le Roux.

66.00: Le Roux is off after a virtuoso performance from fullback.

67.00: Beauden Barrett throws a long pass to Rieko Ioane, but the crowd calls for a forward pass, and Mr Gardner agrees. Scrum to the Boks inside the All Blacks 22.

69.00: South Africa goes close, but the ball is turned over. Pollard was stopped by Lienert-Brwon. A try-saving tackle: game saving.

71.00: It’s end-to-end at Loftus. Dyantyi almost intercepts but loses the ball forward. Lucky for New Zealand.

73.00: The World Champions’ lineout has collapsed. They cough up the ball and give the hosts possession. De Klerk and Marx leave the field to a standing ovation. Du Toit is pinged for lifting an opposition player off his feet. Poor by the flanker.

76.00: TRY! Scott Barrett scores after 13 phases. It was wave after wave of attack by the Kiwis. 30-23

76.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga takes it quickly and makes no mistake. 30-25

78.00: Penalty to New Zealand. Barrett kicks to the corner and the ball trickles out. New Zealand will win from here.

80.00: TRY! Ardie Savea scores. 30-all

81.00: CONVERSION! Mo’unga wins the game for the All Blacks. 30-32

Game over! 

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The final score is South Africa 30 (6) New Zealand 32 (6)


South Africa
Tries – Kriel, De Allende, Kolbe
Pen – Pollard (3)
Con – Pollard (3)
Drop –
Cards –

New Zealand
Tries – A. Smith, R. Ioane, S. Barrett, A. Savea
Pen – B. Barrett (2)
Con – Mo’unga (3)
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Angus Gardner (ARU)
Assistant Ref 1: Jerome Garces (FFR)
Assistant Ref 2: Matthew Carley (RFU)
TMO: Graham Hughes (RFU)


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 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 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

New Zealand

15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe

Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown

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