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23 July 2019, by: Carl Lewis


Ahead of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup clash against the All Blacks on Saturday, the team here at BET Central put their heads together to rank the best Bok wins over their rivals.

Since readmission, the two nations have played 56 matches with the South Africa coming out on top on just 16 occasions.

Have a look and see our list, plus there are some archived YouTube footage to bring back some nostalgia.

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Could another match honestly be number one? I mean they made a Hollywood movie about the World Cup victory, with Matt Damon as well!

It’s not hard to understand why this would be number one. South Africa was a young democracy and the Springboks’ glory was seen as a nation builder.

The match can only be described as an attritional battle between the two nations, with South Africa eventually grinding our a 15-12 victory after extra time.

After a great tour where South Africa topped the Tri-Nations log with two precious and rare away wins, a first title was in their sights.

It seemed as though their dream run would end as the All Blacks led 23-5 in the second half. Incredibly, the Springboks had other plans and scored three tries in quick succession to win and claim a deserved maiden Tri-Nations title.

James Dalton, Bob Skinstad, Stefan Terblanche and Joost van der Westhuizen all crossed the whitewash down in Durban.

South Africa had not beaten New Zealand since 1921 at ‘the House of Pain’, including a humiliating 28-0 loss in 1999.

A moment of genius from the wily halfback Ricky Januarie in the final minute of the match tied the score. Then Frans Steyn stepped up to slot the conversion in what was one of the most memorable upsets in this long-standing rivalry.

The image of Pieter de Villiers’ joy in coaching box will live long in the memory.

The Springboks sent shockwaves through world rugby recording a famous win against the All Blacks in Wellington last year. The home side came out firing and it seemed like business as usual, leading 12-0 after 15 minutes.

However, the next 20 minutes from the Springboks were scintillating as they replied with tries from Aphiwe Dyantyi, Willie le Roux and Malcolm Marx. Handre Pollard was striking it sweetly, slotting all three conversions.

Substitute Cheslin Kolbe got a crucial intercept try while Dyantyi grabbed a brace. The victory was sealed with some committed Springbok defence, with Pieter-Steph du Toit notching up an eye-watering 37 tackles before bursting into tears at the final whistle. A great Bok Test.

Before the Test, the Boks were valiant on tour and unlucky to lose to Australia and New Zealand. However, at Ellis Park it all came together for them with Marius Joubert bossing the match to become only the second Bok to score a hat-trick against the All Blacks.

The victory helped kick-start Jake White’s Bok reign with a Tri-Nations title after a disastrous 2003 World Cup.

A defining and unforgettable day for South African rugby. En route to their maiden Tri-Nations title, Nick Mallett’s Boks followed up their narrow victory in Australia with a 13-3 win in Wellington – the Boks’ first in New Zealand since readmission.

Winger Pieter Rossouw’s incisive line from a set-piece to score under the poles is a vivid memory for all fans and was the only try in the Test. A golden period for the Boks.

Another gripping contest with the home side running rampant in the first 40 minutes before the usual Kiwi comeback in the second 40. Handre Pollard gave an indication of how good he was with a brace while Francois Hougaard also scored under the posts.

Pat Lambie’s huge Test-winning penalty came after Liam Messam was adjudged to have made a high tackle. There is no doubt referee Wayne Barnes was influenced by the Ellis Park crowd after replays were on the big screen. This was coach Heyneke Meyer’s first and only win over the All Blacks.

South Africa had lost four Tests in a row before this humdinger of a Test. An inspired Robbie Fleck, donning the 12 jersey, put on a masterclass in the midfield.

After 30 minutes, South Africa already had four tries, more than they had managed in their previous three.

One of the best and most thrilling Tests between these two nations and reinstated some pride in South African rugby at a much needed time.

Once again, Morne Steyn and big game player Francois Steyn kicked 22 points in Hamilton as South Africa beat New Zealand to win the Tri-Nations for the first time since 2004.

Francois landed three massive penalties while Morne converted Fourie du Preez’s try and added two penalties and a drop-goal to help the Boks to a 22-12 half-time lead.

Another Jean de Villiers intercept try extended the lead and then South Africa held off a resilient All Blacks comeback. It was yet another win for Pieter de Villiers, his third of victory against the All Blacks.

A superb individual display from Morne Steyn put South Africa on top of the 2009 Tri-Nations log after a genuinely physical and brutal Test.

A late penalty, his ninth successful kick from 10 attempts, meant Steyn passed former Andrew Mehrtens’ previous Tri-Nations record of 29 points against Australia in 1999.

Steyn made the headlines, but flanker Heinrich Brussow was the unsung hero, terrorising the All Blacks at ruck time. It was a complete performance from a team at ther peak of their powers.

An awkward match at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff as the two rugby nations battled it out for the bronze medal at the World Cup.

The All Blacks beat the Boks both home and away in the Tri-Nations that year, but the Boks made relatively light work of the Kiwis with Breyton Paulse scoring a great try.

Defending Tri-Nations champions South Africa began their campaign with a deserved 22-16 victory over New Zealand at Newlands.

The win came down to an aggressive defensive effort which helped the Boks stretch their unbeaten home record under Jake White to 11 straight games. Centre Jean De Villiers dotted down, while and Percy Montgomery kicked 14 points.

South Africa held off a spirited recovery to overcome the All Blacks. The Boks bullied their opponents and put on an astonishing first-half performance in Bloem. Ruan Pienaar, who started at 10 for the Test, scored the first try, before Jaque Fourie added his name on the scoresheet.

The win meant the Boks continued their wonderful beginning to 2009 after their epic series against the British and Irish Lions.

The Springboks faced the All Blacks on five occasions in 1996, they beat them once and that was on the fifth and final Test in Johannesburg.

A brace from Joost van der Westhuizen and another try from Andre Joubert secured the win for the Boks.

A late penalty from fly-half Andre Pretorius ended New Zealand’s run of 15 consecutive Test wins as South Africa dug deep at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium and salvaged some pride from what was a miserable 2006.

South Africa had a disastrous tournament until then, having lost four Tests on the bounce. Tries from Bryan Habana and Pedrie Wannenburg rebuilt some self-confidence at the unlikely Test match venue in Rustenburg.

Another Morne Steyn special. The number 10 kicked South Africa to their first victory of 2011, although it was against a second-string New Zealand side.

The fly-half landed five penalties and a drop-goal as their valiant defence kept the All Blacks at bay after the interval against their usual onslaught.

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Carl Lewis is an award-winning sports reporter with EWN Sport and is a sports contributor for TV and Radio.

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