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WATCH: Last five All Black Tests in SA: Lambie a hero, but also heartbreak for Boks

The Springboks front up to the All Blacks’ haka ahead of their test match at Ellis Park in 2015

FILE - The Springboks front up to the All Blacks’ haka ahead of their test match at Ellis Park in 2015. Photo: Nic Bothma/EPA

Published Aug 5, 2022


Cape Town — Since the Springboks’ readmission to international rugby in 1992, they have battled to get the better of the All Blacks, home or away.

In 30 Tests in South Africa, the Boks have been victorious in just 11 matches, with New Zealand winning on 19 occasions.

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Ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener between the two great rivals at Mbombela Stadium (5.05pm kick-off), let’s take a look at the last five encounters on South African soil…

6 October 2018, Loftus Versfeld: Springboks 30, All Blacks 32

Bok centre Jesse Kriel brought the game to life with a superb burst down the left to dot down, and then captain Siya Kolisi produced a classy offload in the tackle to put Damian de Allende over.

Suddenly it was 23-6 to the South Africans, and even though the All Blacks hit back with an Aaron Smith try, Cheslin Kolbe reached out over the line on the right and Pollard slotted the touchline conversion to make 30-13 with 20 minutes to go.

The Kiwis, though, launched a massive comeback in the final quarter, with Rieko Ioane and Scott Barrett crossing the whitewash to bring the visitors within five points at 30-25.

With just over a minute left, Ardie Savea scored after a series of pick-and-go carries, and Richie Mo’unga landed the conversion to break Bok hearts.

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Springboks 30 – Tries: Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Cheslin Kolbe. Conversions: Handre Pollard (3). Penalties: Pollard (3).

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All Blacks 32 – Tries: Aaron Smith, Rieko Ioane, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea. Conversions: Richie Mo’unga (3). Penalties: Beauden Barrett (2).

7 October 2017, Newlands: Springboks 24, All Blacks 25

After the 57-0 disaster in Albany three weeks earlier, Allister Coetzee’s Springboks needed to restore pride, and despite a one-point loss, they did that with a blood-and-guts performance in Cape Town.

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But it was the All Blacks who pounced first, with centre Ryan Crotty grabbing a scrappy try after Elton Jantjies’ kick was charged down by Beauden Barrett.

Bok scrumhalf Ross Cronjé, though, got the hosts back into the game by dotting down at the base of the right upright to put SA into a 10-8 lead.

But then Cronjé’s pass inside the New Zealand 22 was knocked-on by Courtnall Skosan, and Rieko Ioane raced away from Jean-Luc du Preez to score.

Du Preez was able to redeem himself when he rounded off a smart piece of play from Handre Pollard.

But for all their defensive commitment, the South Africans were unable to stop Damian McKenzie from cutting through on the right to put the Kiwis back in front at 22-17, and Lima Sopoaga landed a late penalty from Damian de Allende’s elbow to his throat, which earned the Bok centre a red card with five minutes left.

Marx managed to finish a driving maul with two minutes to go, but it was too late.



Springboks 24 – Tries: Ross Cronjé, Jean-Luc du Preez, Malcolm Marx. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2), Handre Pollard (1). Penalty: Jantjies (1).

All Blacks 25 – Tries: Ryan Crotty, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie. Conversions: Liam Sopoaga (2). Penalties: Beauden Barrett (1), Sopoaga (1).

8 October 2016, Kings Park: Springboks 15, All Blacks 57

This was the first sign of real discontent on Allister Coetzee’s watch. To concede 57 points at home was arguably the lowest point of the Bok coach’s reign.

The South Africans only had five Morné Steyn penalties to show for their efforts as New Zealand ran riot in the last quarter.

The Kiwis led just 12-9 at halftime, but Israel Dagg’s try after 19 phases of relentless attack started the rot.

Steyn’s fifth penalty made it 22-15 to the visitors with 21 minutes to go, but the All Blacks turned up the charm with some terrific handling that led to TJ Perenara’s first try, and then they ran riot by scoring nine tries in total.

Coetzee rightly said afterwards that he was “embarrassed and hurting” by the result, but little did he know that it would get even worse the following year with the 57-0 disaster in Albany.

The All Blacks equalled the Tier One record of 17 consecutive wins with the Durban victory.



Springboks 15 – Penalties: Morné Steyn (5).

All Blacks 57 – Tries: Israel Dagg (2), TJ Perenara (2), Beauden Barrett (2), Codie Taylor, Ben Smith, Liam Squire. Conversions: Barrett (3), Lima Sopoaga (3).

25 July 2015, Ellis Park: Springboks 20, All Blacks 27

All Black captain Richie McCaw delivered the knockout blow with a late try to topple the Springboks at their favourite Ellis Park arena.

The Boks were leading 20-13 through tries by Willie le Roux and Jesse Kriel, while Handre Pollard slotted two conversions and two penalties.

But despite a hard-working defensive display by the Boks, it was the Kiwis who survived an earlier scrum onslaught to hit back with a late winner.

McCaw rounded off a clever move from a lineout, and Lima Sopoaga goaled the conversion and another penalty to seal the deal.


Springboks 20 – Tries: Willie le Roux, Jesse Kriel. Conversions: Handre Pollard (2). Penalties: Pollard (2).

All Blacks 27 – Tries: Ben Smith, Dane Coles, Richie McCaw. Conversions: Lima Sopoaga (3). Penalties: Sopoaga (2).

4 October 2014, Ellis Park: Springboks 27, All Blacks 25

This will forever be known as the Pat Lambie Test. The Boks had last beaten the Kiwis in 2011, and had gone down in five consecutive games between the two great rivals.

Francois Hougaard made it a perfect start after Jean de Villiers’ grubber was claimed by Cornal Hendricks, who fed Jan Serfontein, who was able to put Hougaard away.

And when Handre Pollard sliced through the defence to dot down as well, it looked like the Boks would break their win drought.

But the All Blacks roared back and led 25-24 through tries by Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Smith and Dane Coles, until the big moment arrived…

Schalk Burger was taken out high by Liam Messam, and while referee Wayne Barnes initially missed the incident, he eventually spotted it on the big screen and called on the TMO to have a look, and the Boks got the penalty.

It was up to replacement flyhalf Lambie to take the 55-metre shot at goal, and it helped that it was in the middle of the field as the Sharks star drilled the ball through the uprights to send Ellis Park into party mode.



Springboks 27 – Tries: Francois Hougaard, Handre Pollard (2). Conversions: Pollard (3). Penalties: Pollard (1), Pat Lambie (1).

All Blacks 25 – Tries: Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Smith, Dane Coles. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2). Penalties: Barrett (2).


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