All Blacks v South Africa: Ill-disciplined New Zealand slump to third straight defeat, after Springboks loss

The All Blacks have slumped to their third straight test defeat, going down to South Africa in front of a packed-out Mbombela Stadium in the Rugby Championship.

New Zealand were soundly beaten 26-10, with ill-discipline and errors proving costly, as they succumbed to their third loss on the bounce for the first time since 1998.

Samisoni Taukei'aho is tackled.
Samisoni Taukei'aho is tackled. Photo credit: Getty Images

It didn't go all the way of the Springboks, losing veteran halfback Faf de Klerk  to a head injury in the opening minute, after he collided with All Blacks winger Caleb Clarke.

New Zealand were under immense pressure early on, but just when it looked as if they had seen off the waves of South African attacks, the hosts struck.

First-five Handre Pollard put up a high bomb with plenty of chasers, including winger Kurt-Lee Arendse, who got up to challenge Jordie Barrett and knocked the ball back to centre Lukhanyo Am.

The centre delivered a spectacular pass off the ground back to his winger to open proceedings in front of deafening South African supporters.

The All Blacks struggled at scrum-time and were penalised four times at the set-piece in the opening half, only winning one of their own shortly before the break.

New Zealand captain Sam Cane was penalised for not releasing the ball right in front of the posts, which allowed Pollard to extend the lead with a kick at goal.

The All Blacks' first real chance on attack came when Beauden Barrett broke from inside his own in-goal area.

Barrett did well to keep a potential 50/22 in play, before collecting and beating Springboks tacklers to have the All Blacks inside the opposition half in a blink of an eye.

He linked up with brother Jordie, but No.6 Akira Ioane was guilty of forcing a speculative ball and the referee ruled a forward pass.

Ill-discipline continued to hurt the All Blacks, but Ardie Savea did well to force the penalty, after getting over the top of hooker Malcom Marx at the breakdown, just five metres out from their own tryline.

New Zealand struggled to deal with the Springboks' rush defence, committing errors, as they attempted to move the ball around quickly in the backfield.

Willie le Roux celebrates his try.
Willie le Roux celebrates his try. Photo credit: Getty Images

But the All Blacks did enough to absorb the pressure and register their first points of the game through the boot of Jordie Barrett, after de Allende was pinged for offside.

Such was the intensity of the first half, the Springboks made a front-row change before the hooter sounded, with Trevor Nyakane replaced by Steven Kitshoff.

After a quiet first half, All Blacks winger Will Jordan finally got to stretch his legs, when a brilliant set-piece move saw him slice through a gaping hole, before being ankle-tapped. He did well to link up with Clarke, but he was tackled into touch.

Beauden Barrett was perhaps fortunate not to be shown a yellow card, after a botched intercept attempt, but the referee ruled he had genuinely tried to catch the ball.

All Blacks' struggles at scrum-time continued in the second half, as another penalty allowed Pollard yet another shot at goal, which he calmly slotted.

Marx continued to trouble New Zealand at the breakdown, winning his third penalty at the ruck to stifle another attack.

Pollard again came to the fore with his boot, this time slotting a drop goal with no pressure on him to further extend their lead.

Unforced errors haunted  the All Blacks, with mistakes becoming far too regular to mount any meaningful phases, but a red card to Arendse gave the All Blacks a glimmer of hope. The winger was sent off after collecting Beauden Barrett in the air.

The first-five landed on his neck, but his opposite who came off second best and was taken off in a stretcher.

New Zealand made the advantage count, scoring their first and only try through replacement Shannon Frizell, after a scintillating run by Clarke. The stampeding winger looked to be in himself, but a desperate tackle kept him out, allowing Frizell to stretch and dot down.

However, that was as good as it got for the All Blacks, as another wayward pass saw Springboks replacement Willie le Roux toe ahead the loose ball and score the try to seal New Zealand's fifth defeat in six matches.

Springboks 26 (Arendse, le Roux tries; Pollard 2 conversions, 3 penalties & drop goal) 
All Blacks 10 (Frizell try; Mo'unga conversion, Jorde Barrett penalties)