New Zealand overcame the Ellis Park curse after beating South Africa 27-20 in their Rugby Championship encounter on Saturday. The All Blacks opened the scoring through a Lima Sopoaga penalty in the third minute. Great multiple phases set up Willie Le Roux as he split the New Zealand defence to score before Handre Pollard added the extras for the Test’s first try.
With the away side on the back foot the hosts continued to dominate possession with real pace over the field. Pollard extended the lead in the 20th minute with another three-pointer. Both kickers had a chance to put points on the board but could not convert them.
After seeing very few of the ball the New Zealanders scored at the break through Ben Smith as Sopoaga added the sundries to end the half deadlocked at 10-10. After the interval, Steve Hansen’s side was on the attack early but Heinrich Brussow proved to be extremely clinical at the break downs. Jesse Kriel showed great power and pace as he went over to score his second try in two weeks.
Pollard slotted over the conversion. The Kiwis replied with immediate effect as Dane Coles scored in similar fashion before Sopoaga tied matters with his conversion. An effective maul from the Boks saw Lood De Jager falling just short from what could have been a crucial try.
Heyneke Meyer’s side regained the lead in the 57th minute through a Pollard penalty. Despite having Sam Whitelock being sent to the sin bin, the visitors came from behind to showcase their status as world champions to score a brilliant set piece try in the line-out through Richie McCaw. Sopoaga added the extras and one more penalty to secure a 27-20 win over the Boks.