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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

All Blacks Top Springboks in Historic Win

Combined Reports


PRETORIA, South Africa -- Jeff Wilson ran in a pair of first-half tries and New Zealand held off another Springbok rally for a 33-26 win Saturday, securing the All Blacks' first test series victory in South Africa in the rivalry's 75-year history.


South Africa dominated the first 40 minutes in terms of possession and territory, but New Zealand scored three tries and jumped out to a 21-11 lead by halftime.


The Springboks twice closed within a point, the last time 27-26 with eight minutes remaining. But substitute Jon Preston kicked his second penalty from inside his own half in the 75th and No. 8 Zinzan Brooke added a 30-meter drop goal in extra time to squelch the South Africa rally.


It was the All Blacks' fourth straight victory over the World Cup champions this year and New Zealand can complete a 1996 sweep with a victory next Saturday in Johannesburg.


"This is a special time for New Zealand rugby and the people of New Zealand,'' All Blacks coach John Hart said.


"Obviously we are thrilled,'' New Zealand captain Sean Fitzpatrick said. "We wanted to take the game to them but they caught us on the hop. They played really well.''


The All Blacks, who beat the 'Boks twice in the recently completed South Hemisphere Tri-Nations tournament, took the first of the three-test series last week in Durban 23-19, and now lead the all-time series against South Africa 22-21.


Saturday's 33 points was the most scored by New Zealand against South Africa and the total was the most scored in a match between the two.


"We gave it everything we had today,'' South African captain Gary Teichmann said. "We were very focused throughout the week and we'll give the final test a full go.''


Three minutes of intense pressure gave South Africa the lead when Hannes Strydom crashed over for an unconverted try near the touchline.


But after a 40-meter run by scrumhalf Justin Marshall, Wilson ran in his first under the posts in the 13th and then added a second in the 25th after recovering his own kick ahead to give New Zealand a 14-8 advantage. Brooke fought through Joel Stransky's tackle for a third try in the 36th and only Stransky's penalty before halftime kept South Africa within two tries.


The second half was a much more evenly fought affair in terms of possession. New Zealand's line out forwards took good advantage to give their back line a supply of clean ball. They constantly ran at the South African defense, demanding desperate tackling to keep them from crossing the try line.


Simon Culhane tacked on a penalty to seemingly restore New Zealand's momentum early in the second half, but Ruben Kruger began the Boks' comeback by diving over from a ruck in the 60th.


The conversion by Stansky pulled South Africa within 24-18 and Joost van der Westhuizen brought the crowd of 52,000 at Loftus to its feet two minutes later by grabbing a loose ball that evaded All Black fullback Christian Cullen, breaking Glen Osborne's tackle and sprinting for a try.


Stransky, who struggled with his kicking last week, hit the post a second time Saturday to leave South Africa trailing by a point. Preston and Stransky traded their penalties over the next 10 minutes to set up the All Black's final surge.


South Africa have recalled lock Steve Atheton to their squad Monday for the third and final test against New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday.


The Natal player replaces Hannes Strydom, who suffered medial knee ligament damage in Saturday's 33-26 defeat against the All Blacks in the second test in Pretoria. ()