Springboks steal late win over All Blacks
South Africa have exacted revenge on New Zealand with a penalty kick by Elton Jantjies two minutes after fulltime, securing an epic 31-29 victory in the final round of the Rugby Championship.
It appeared that the world champions were headed for their fourth successive loss after Jordie Barrett booted a penalty in the 78th minute to put the All Blacks in the lead.
In their first clash in Townsville last Saturday, fullback Barrett stepped up to seal another two-point win in the same thrilling fashion.
South Africa won a penalty in extra time but rather than veteran Francois Steyn attempting a long-range penalty he booted it downfield.
The Boks then managed to secure the match-winning penalty, with Jantjies stepping up to nail the memorable win.
It denied New Zealand a clean sweep of the Rugby Championship and stopped their win streak at 10.
Springboks halfback Faf de Klerk said the difference between last week and this was "desperation".
"I'm really happy for the boys, it's been a tough tour," de Klerk told Stan Sport.
"I was so proud for the boys to stick through at the end there and never stop fighting; that's what this team is about.
"Desperation was a big thing for us - we didn't execute as well as we wanted to but the boys never stopped fighting."
The All Blacks scored three tries in the first stanza to steam to a 20-14 halftime lead with a sensational five-pointer by captain Ardie Savea the stand-out.
Five-eighth Beauden Barrett made the break before off-loading to Rieko Ioane, who trampled over hapless Boks fullback Willie le Roux before offloading to Savea to swan-dive across the line.
Halfback Brad Weber snaffled a try after a line-out turnover while winger Sevu Reece also scored thanks to a le Roux spill off a restart and Beauden Barrett kick to the flanks.
South Africa also had their moments of brilliance with centre Lukhanyo Am slipping a pass behind his back to winger S'busiso Nkosi who found a charging Damian de Allende for a fifth-minute try.
The Springboks rang the changes early and it proved a decisive move with their replacements stopping the All Blacks in their tracks.
De Klerk gave credit to their replacements, known as the "bomb squad".
"The bench made a massive impact so a lot of credit goes to them," he said.
"They've shown what they're all about tonight."
After a penalty strike, they hit the lead 22-20 in the 51st minute when Steyn kicked a 50:22 and from the lineout, South Africa sent the ball wide for Makazole Mapimpi to score in the corner.
Handre Pollard again missed the conversion before Jantjies took over the kicking duties, with a penalty extending the lead to five points.
That was the sole try of the second half with brutal defence from both teams as penalties, as well as a 76th-minute drop goal by Jantjies keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
The lead changed four times in the last five minutes but it was South Africa in front when it counted.
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