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12 Jul 2008 11:59
Halfback Ricky Januarie scored a try four minutes from full-time to give a 14-man South African team a 30-28 win over New Zealand in a Tri-Nations rugby Test on Saturday.
South Africa lost captain Victor Matfield to a yellow card and was trailing 28-22 when Januarie regathered his own chip kick inside the All Blacks’ 22 and scored the spectacular try, converted by Francois Steyn, that sealed the match.
The Springbok win, balancing the Tri-Nations series after their 19-8 loss to the All Blacks in Wellington last weekend, ended New Zealand’s world-record run of 30 Test wins at home and gave South Africa their first win at Dunedin’s Carisbrook ground.
“It took us 100 years to win here and hopefully we won’t have to wait another 100 years to win again,” said centre Jean de Villiers. “We’re ecstatic.
We worked hard all week on the things we did wrong in Wellington, we put those things right and obviously we got the result tonight.”
South Africa scored the only try of the first half, through winger JP Pietersen, to lead 17-15 at half-time, but New Zealand regained the lead after 54 minutes with their only try, to replacement number eight Sione Lauaki.
The All Blacks carried that lead for 20 minutes, within four minutes of the final hooter, when Januarie created a try for the depleted Springboks to swing the match.
South Africa now travel to Perth for a Test next Saturday against Robbie Deans’s Wallabies.
The Dunedin match was played out against a background of bitter acrimony between the teams, emanating from last week’s controversial Test in Wellington.
Young Australian referee Matt Goddard chaired a meeting between the coaching staffs in Dunedin on Friday in the hope of defusing the rhetoric and taking some of the heat out of the contest, but the match was hard fought, physical and full of controversial moments.
In total, 43 of the 58 points scored on Saturday in the highest-scoring match between the teams in Dunedin came from kicks.
Daniel Carter kept a perfect goal-kicking record, landing six penalties and a rare dropped goal and the conversion of Lauaki’s try to provide 23 points for New Zealand.
South Africa employed three goal-kickers who shared 20 points: Percy Montgomery, who kicked three penalties; Butch James, who kicked two and a dropped goal; and Steyn, who converted the winning try, separating the teams.
The teams were never separated by more than the six-point margin the All Blacks enjoyed after eight minutes and Carter’s first two penalties.
The teams exchanged penalties until the 31st minute when, with the All Blacks leading 12-9, Pietersen scored off a routine blindside attacking move from a 5m scrum. James’s dropped goal and Carter’s fifth penalty sent the Springboks to half-time with a 17-15 lead.
The All Blacks regained the lead, 22-17, when Lauaki scored from his first touch of the ball in the 54th minute. Carter and James swapped penalties until the 76th minute when, with New Zealand leading 28-23, Januarie made his indelible mark on the history of matches between the nations.
“It was about territory,” All Blacks captain Rodney So’oialo said. “We played the game at the wrong end of the field and got punished. As everyone could see, they played the game until the final whistle and stole the game away from us.”—Sapa-AP
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