South Africa 30-32 New Zealand: All Blacks battle back to beat Springboks
Last Updated: 07/10/18 6:07am
Ardie Savea scored a try in the 79th minute to give New Zealand a 32-30 win over South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday.
New Zealand battled their way from 30-13 down as South Africa looked certain to record their first back-to-back wins against the All Blacks in nine years, only for Savea to steal the game in the final play.
Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende and Cheslin Kolbe scored for the Boks, while Handre Pollard added three conversions and three penalties.
Aaron Smith, Rieko Ioane and Scott Barrett went over for New Zealand while Beauden Barrett added a conversion and two penalties, before Savea's heroic try which was converted by Richie Mo'unga.
New Zealand wrapped up the Rugby Championship last week but were eager to revenge their 36-34 loss to the Boks in Wellington three weeks ago.
Pollard got the Boks on the scoreboard within four minutes with a mammoth kick from 55 metres out after Read went off-side.
The All Blacks were under huge pressure and were rattled into making mistakes as the Boks were winning the collisions and should have scored their first try in the 12th minute but for some desperate defence.
The All Blacks were lucky not to have a man sin-binned after conceding five penalties in a row. However, it was just a warning as Pollard made it 6-0.
Barrett clawed three points back in the 25th minute when Eben Etsebeth was penalised for collapsing the maul, and despite being under the cosh, the All Blacks were just three points adrift.
South Africa's defence was forced into action after the All Blacks had an attacking lineout and hammered away at their line - Aaron Smith looked for a penalty as his pass hit a retreating Pieter-Steph du Toit, but referee Angus Gardner was having none of it and said he threw it deliberately, as Marx won the turnover on the line.
Barrett converted his second penalty to level the game and then held out a powerful Springbok attack to go into the break level.
South Africa had the perfect start to the second half with their first try. Willie Le Roux ran a wonderful line to open up the All Blacks defence and then passed to Kriel who powered past Naholo and Crotty to score. Pollard added the extras to give them a 13-6 lead.
The Loftus faithful were chanting Kriel's name again moments later when he won a penalty at the breakdown and Pollard added another penalty to take the Boks 16-6 up in the 48th minute.
South Africa scored their second try after Kolisi barged through Tim Perry and then passed to Damian de Allende who went over. Pollard converted to give South Africa a 23-6 lead.
Aaron Smith clawed a try back for New Zealand, although replays hinted that the pass to him from Cody Taylor was forward, but the try stood and Barrett's conversion made it 23-13.
South Africa's third try was also controversial after the Kolbe looked to have been stopped short in the corner. However, the TMO was happy to give it.
Pollard's conversion meant South Africa were 30-13 up but New Zealand were not done yet, as Ioane went over in the corner, however, Mo'unga could not add the extras and it remained 30-18 with 18 minutes remaining.
South Africa should have had their fourth when Pollard glided through from short range but for a desperate tackle from Anton Lienert-Brown.
South Africa rang the changes with the clock running down and looked on course for another win against the All Blacks, however, a converted try in the 76th minute from Scott Barrett set up a nail biting finish.
The Springboks were guilty of not closing the game down and the visitors had one more chance when Savea won a penalty at the breakdown.
That was all the All Blacks needed and the capacity 52,000 crowd were left stunned as Savea powered over from short range and Mo'unga held his nerve with the conversion for the win.