Steyn kicks Springboks clear
Morne Steyn scored all of his side's points as they dispatched New Zealand 31-19 in the Tri Nations.
By Alex Williams
Last Updated: 01/08/09 10:35pm
A sensational performance from Morne Steyn ensured that South Africa secured a second consecutive Tri-Nations victory over the All Blacks.
The fly-half scored all 31 points, the most ever in a Tri-Nations match, as South Africa cemented their place at the top of the table.
The visiting side led for most of the first half but the Springboks turned the match around just before the break and did not look back from there on, eventually winning 31-19.
New Zealand produced fleeting glimpses of brilliance as they broke with blinding speed, but their opponents' relentless pressure told in the end.
Early possession for the hosts paid off within five minutes when Mils Muliaina did not release the ball after a tackle and Steyn coolly slotted over the resulting penalty.
However, New Zealand hit back straight away when Welsh referee Nigel Owens spotted an infringement in a ruck and Stephen Donald levelled the scores.
South Africa continued to pile on the pressure but a fantastic break by the away side produced the first try of the game, as Jerome Kaino played in Isaac Ross.
Donald then nailed a brilliant conversion from the touchline before Steyn responded with a simple penalty to reduce the deficit to four points.
The 25-year-old fly-half then brought the Springboks to within a point after he sent his third penalty sailing between the posts after Kaino was penalised.
But the away side extended their advantage when Joe Rokocoko and Muliaina turned a charge-down into a break and Jimmy Cowan was tackled high by JP Pietersen.
Donald slotted home the penalty while Pietersen was sin-binned for the dangerous tackle.
The world champions replied just moments later when New Zealand lock Ross was shown the yellow card for deliberate offside and Steyn knocked over his fourth penalty of the match.
South Africa then ensured they headed into half-time with the lead when Fourie du Preez snatched the ball from an All Blacks scrum and offloaded to Steyn, who dived over the try-line and added another penalty in first-half injury time to extend the advantage to nine points.
The hosts maintained their momentum after the break as Jaque Fourie intercepted a wayward pass but a knock-on eventually halted the move just metres from the line.
Steyn then saw a drop-goal attempt ricochet off the upright as the All Blacks fended off some intense pressure.
Sitiveni Sivivatu instigated a breathtaking move that saw New Zealand travel almost the length of the field before a professional foul from Bakkies Botha earned him a trip to the sin bin and gifted three points to the visitors.
But Steyn cancelled the score out just before the hour with his fifth penalty, maintaining his perfect kicking record.
Replacement Luke McAllister reduced the gap to six points with a long-range penalty shortly after taking the field, but Steyn scored again after the All Blacks had hands in the ruck.
The Bulls stand-off then surpassed Andrew Mehrtens' Tri-Nations points record with another penalty inside the final 10 minutes, before missing for the first time in the dying seconds.