VIDEO: 'Awesome' Boks expect All Black backlash
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP REACTION: South Africa expect an enormous ‘backlash’ when they face New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld on October 6.
The Springboks scored an impressive 36-34 win over the world champion All Blacks in Wellington, New Zealand, on Saturday.
However, the Boks tempered celebrations, saying they know the All Blacks will be ‘fuming’ and waiting for the return match in Pretoria.
South Africa’s first win in New Zealand since 2009 left the home side to chalk up their first Rugby Championship loss in three years.
It also snapped the visitors’ six-match losing streak to the All Blacks dating back to 2014.
New Zealand outscored the Springboks six tries to five, but while Beauden Barrett had an off night with the boot, South African pivot Handre Pollard was successful with five out of six shots at goal.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus and captain Siya Kolisi lauded the self-belief and courage of the team.
The Boks rallied back from 0-12 down to score the most points the All Blacks have ever conceded in New Zealand.
Erasmus said the players deserve special praise for their courage in defence and execution of the game plan.
The home team dominated possession and territory and forced the Boks to make more than 200 tackles during the game.
“The boys showed guts and I’m so glad for them,” said Erasmus.
“We will take this win over the best team in the world and enjoy it, but we will keep our feet firmly on the ground. We will not get ahead of ourselves.
“We still have a lot of work to do and the All Blacks will be fuming when they come to Pretoria.”
Kolisi said the win was special, given the many in-game challenges the team had to face during the match. Both starting centres,
Damian de Allende and Lukhanyo Am, left the field with shoulder injuries, while Willie le Roux (fullback) spent 10 minutes in the sin bin after he was yellow carded.
“We kept our focus and we really had belief,” said Kolisi.
“We wanted to look each other in the eye and said we did the best that we could against the best team in the world.
“The boys did just that and I’m so proud of all of them. Coach Rassie and the other coaching staff did an excellent job to prepare us for this Test after we lost the previous two.
“It’s a special win, a special day and I’m so proud of the guys and just glad we could make South Africa proud again.”
Le Roux scored one of the Boks’ five tries, while Aphiwe Dyantyi (wing) bagged a brace. Malcolm Marx drove over from a line-out maul and Cheslin Kolbe scored his first try in the Bok jersey from an intercept.
Handre Pollard converted four and added a crucial penalty goal.
“It’s an awesome day for the team and an awesome day for South Africa,” Kolisi said.
Erasmus admitted they were touch fortunate to bag the win.
“We could have lost it in the last few seconds,” he said, after replacement, All Black Damian McKenzie spilt the ball a few metres short of the line in the game’s final play.
“There’s no way we can get ahead of ourselves,” he added.
“This was one win with a bit of luck against the best team in the world.”
The All Blacks, who remain head of the table with two rounds to play, dominated possession but were stunned by the strong South African defence.