New Zealand makes a comeback to defeat the Boks and relieve pressure on Foster.
In the Rugby Championship match at Ellis Park on Saturday, New Zealand defeated South Africa 35-23, relieving coach Ian Foster of some strain with late tries from centre David Havili and lock Scott Barrett.
The All Blacks, who had lost five of their previous six tests, stunned the 61,519 spectators with their performance, scoring tries together with captain Sam Cane and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho.
Despite scoring tries from outstanding centre Lukhanyo Am and winger Makazole Mapimpi, the Springboks were less efficient than they had been in their 26-10 victory over the visitors the previous week. However, they faced opponents who were significantly better.
When New Zealand prepares to meet Argentina in their next Rugby Championship match on August 27, while the Boks go to play Australia the same day, it will be evident if the victory was sufficient to keep Foster’s position.
The scrum, breakdown, and high ball were all areas where the All Blacks performed better than they had seven days prior in Nelspruit.
New Zealand did not score their first penalty until the 25th minute, via a penalty kick, but after that, the visitors raced to a 15-0 advantage.
They maintained control after a break by Caleb Clarke and Cane crossed in the corner before Taukei’aho scored from close range after relentless pressure.
The Boks had a strong finish to the half, as Am displayed amazing power to beat Clarke’s tackle and score, and flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked a 55-yard penalty that soared through the Highveld air to make the score 15-10 at halftime.
Before the Boks scored their second try, Malcolm Marx’s typical steel at the breakdown allowed Damian Willemse to loft a long pass for Mapimpi to score in the corner.
The Boks gained the lead for the first time after 68 minutes, when Beauden Barrett was yellow-carded for an illegal tackle on Jaden Hendrikse in his own 22.
Nevertheless, despite being a man down, the All Blacks produced a strong finale as Havili and Barrett scored to seal the victory.