President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the Springboks for defeating the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship clash in Wellington on Saturday.
Ramaphosa congratulated the Boks for putting up a “fierce fight” against the All Blacks.
The president tweeted: “Our team showed true character from start to finish. Continue to fly the flag, you make us proud.”
A job very well done by our Springboks for the fierce fight and victory against the tough All Blacks. The determination you demonstrated today, away from home, is beyond fulfilling. Our team showed true character from start to finish. Continue to fly the flag, you make us proud. pic.twitter.com/5LKH0g7FAj
— President Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 15, 2018
There were scenes of utter joy as a brilliant Springbok performance saw them cause one of the biggest upsets in recent years by beating the All Blacks 36-34 in a pulsating Rugby Championship clash in Wellington on Saturday.
It was the Boks’ first triumph since 2009 on Kiwi soil and the first time in seven attempts that they managed to win in the New Zealand capital.
While the All Blacks scored six tries to five, the difference proved to be the goal-kicking of Kiwi No 10 Beauden Barrett, who missed four of his six kicks at goal.
In contrast, his counterpart Handre Pollard missed one.
South Africa predictably had to outlast the world champions in the second half but they responded with a magnificent effort on defence, causing the All Blacks all sorts of problems with their rushing pattern.
However, this wasn’t just a dogged effort.
The Boks varied their attack superbly and essentially took every scoring chance on offer.
They also illustrated again vividly that their physicality remains one of the biggest factors in disrupting New Zealand’s momentum.
Who was the star in this match?
After he had been guilty in the past of disappearing in tight contests, Bok No 8 Warren Whiteley was superb. He was literally everywhere as he put his body on the line, while also taking over the captaincy from Siya Kolisi in the 66th minute and displaying customary calmness. His try-saving tackle on All Black replacement scrumhalf TJ Perenara was a highlight.
Key moments and themes
- The All Blacks landed the first blow in the fifth minute with their opening try by fullback Jordie Barrett after receiving a superb pop-pass from brother Beauden. Halfback Aaron Smith seemed to compound the misery when his rounded off wing Ben Smith’s brilliant run down the touchline. It showed that South Africa’s defence in the wider channels remains vulnerable and seemed to suggest another mauling.
- The Boks, however, didn’t lose heart and continued to dominate collisions and tackle ruthlessly. That started to rattle the All Black carriers and set up the platform for their scoring opportunities. Aphiwe Dyantyi started the fightback with his first of two tries after superb handling by Willie le Roux and Malcolm Marx. The score shook the hosts, who then gifted Le Roux a try after Jordie Barrett attempted a poor quick lineout throw-in.
- In their stride, Marx was at the head of a driving maul before a late penalty saw them establish a 24-17 cushion at the turnaround.
- Crucially, the Boks didn’t lower their intensity in the second half and essentially ensured their win through two splendid tries by Dyantyi and replacement Cheslin Kolbe. Those scores just managed to keep them out of the grasp of the All Blacks.
- Thereafter, it was all about repelling the fast-finishing home side. It was pretty grim at times but the Boks simply never relented, scrambling superbly and exploiting the All Blacks’ eagerness, especially when Le Roux was sent to the bin in the 66th minute for a cynical professional foul.
All Blacks – Tries: Rieko Ioane (2), Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith, Codie Taylor, Ardie Savea. Conversions: Beauden Barrett (2).
Springboks – Tries: Aphiwe Dyantyi (2), Willie le Roux, Malcolm Marx, Cheslin Kolbe. Conversions: Handre Pollard (4). Penalty: Pollard.