Henry Honiball and Mike Greenaway enjoy a beer in the change room at Athletic Park in Wellington after the Boks’ win in 1998.
I have had the privilege of covering most of the Springboks’ victories over the All Blacks in the professional era. Here are my three favourites:

1998: New Zealand 3, South Africa 13 (Wellington)

This was the last ever Test match at the famous Athletic Park, a rickety old ground that was to make way for the Cake Tin that was nearing completion at the time of this match.

The All Blacks wanted to bid a fitting farewell to a historic stadium but Gary Teichmann’s Boks were the party poopers.

The unforgettable moment in that match was the match-winning try that saw flyhalf Henry Honiball deliver a brilliant inside pass to incoming blindside wing Pieter Rossouw.

2009: New Zealand 29, South Africa 32 (Hamilton)

The score-line flattered an All Blacks side that scored a late flurry of points after the visitors had smashed them for most of the game.

The Boks had already beaten the Kiwis twice in South Africa and this victory secured them the Tri-Nations title.

This match was memorable, too, for the three crowd-silencing penalties struck by fullback Francois Steyn from well within his half that locally earned him the nick name of “Jet Boots”.

2006: South Africa 21, New Zealand 20 (Rustenburg)

This was one of the filthiest Tests between these countries of the modern era.

The Boks under Jake White and John Smit were dangling by a thread after five successive losses. One more and there would have been a clear-out ahead of the 2007 Word Cup.

But the “gatvol” Boks threw all caution to the wind and scrapped out a win that was secured by a last-minute penalty goal by André Pretorius.

A year later that same Bok team won the World Cup! 


Saturday Star

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