Rugby Championship 2019: South Africa score late to salvage draw against All Blacks

Handre Pollard has held his nerve for the Springboks to slot a conversion after the hooter to secure a 16-16 draw against the All Blacks. 

Wellington's fast becoming a happy hunting ground for South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

Two visits in two years for a win and now a draw.

And while a dour stalemate won't go down in history as a Rugby Championship classic, there’s little doubt who will go home be the happier for the result, especially with a more pressing rematch coming at the Rugby World Cup in little over two months.

The All Blacks had victory in their grasp but an 80th minute try to Herschel Jantjies snatched a share of the points for the Springboks.

Maybe it was a fair result but the All Blacks will be kicking themselves.

Territorial and possession statistics back in their favour after a lacklustre first half, they had looked the better team at the end.

But rugby's won in 80 minutes and the Bok used up all the allotted time to get what they came for.

This wasn't a Rugby Championship showdown for the ages.

In truth, it felt like a game that neither team wanted to lose but neither were prepared to go all out to win.

Both teams scored one try each and the All Blacks will be sweating on an injury to Brodie Retallick to injury.

The veteran lock appeared to dislocate his shoulder midway through the second half and left the field in some discomfort.

Coach Steve Hansen would have been sitting more comfortably before seeing the sight of Rettalick because, for a lot of this game, the All Blacks were their only worst enemies.

Their rare forays into enemy territory were abruptly ended by poor handling while their discipline on defence, particularly in their own half, allowed Springboks first-five Handre Pollard three easy shots at goal. Fortunately for Kieran Read's men, he only converted two of them.

South Africa threatened to keep the All Blacks scoreless before the break but a piece of attacking brilliance ensured that didn't happen.

Springboks captain Duane Vermeulen turned the ball over inside the All Blacks half and after a tussle on the ground, Sonny Bill Williams threw a lovely floating pass to Barrett, lurking free in space on the right-hand side.

The first-five turned fullback then turned on the afterburners before finding support on the inside in the form of Jack Goodhue.

The All Blacks were much more accurate and intense after the break. They found more holes in the Boks defence and a Beauden Barrett penalty in the 49th minute was just reward for the more energetic start to the second half.

The Boks lost livewire halfback Faf de Klerk to a head knock soon after, not that his presence would’ve helped the Boks against a powering All Black scrum. It could’ve signalled the turning of the tide.

But Barrett missed the ensuring penalty and the Boks came back with one of their own to close the gap to one with 20 minutes to play.

Richie Mo'unga took over the goal kicking duties and immediately restore New Zealand’s advantage which looked great until the very end.

The Boks heroics at the death saw the points shared.

Bring on September 21 and a Rugby World Cup pool match to revel in.

Let's hope the real All Blacks and Springboks turn up.


Join us for live updates of the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup campaign