Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Springboks v All Blacks — Five classic clashes between the two rivals at Ellis Park

The two great teams meet again today at the Joburg venue, in round two of the Rugby Championship.

Since the turn of the century the Springboks and All Blacks have only clashed at Ellis Park on five occasions, with this Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash being the sixth at the ground in 22 years.

The Boks won three of those encounters, with the All Blacks triumphant in two, including in the last meeting at the ground in 2015.

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Springboks v All Blacks – 19 August 2000

Boks won 46-40

The year 2000 was a difficult one in the Tri Nations for the Boks as they finished bottom of the table with just one win, however that came against the All Blacks in a scintillating clash. Their biggest problem during that year’s tournament was their inability to cross the whitewash, as they didn’t score a single try in their three losses, only for their attacking game to come right in spectacular fashion at Ellis Park.

The Boks ran in six tries to four, with Robbie Fleck and Werner Swanepoel scoring doubles, along with Thinus Delport and Chester Williams dotting down once each. The 46 points scored by them also remains the most scored in a game against the All Blacks.

Springboks v All Blacks – 14 August 2004

Boks won 40-26

The 2004 Tri Nations series was a thrilling one, with the Boks clinching their second title, despite the fact that all three sides ended the competition with two wins and two losses. After the opening four rounds it was the All Blacks and Australia jostling for top spot, with the Boks bottom of the table having been edged 23-21 in Christchurch and 30-26 in Perth.

They also went into the clash on a nine game losing streak against their rivals, with their last win coming at Ellis Park four years earlier. A top performance then followed with a hattrick from Marius Joubert, further tries from Breyton Paulse and Jean de Villiers, and three conversions and three penalties from the boot of Percy Montgomery helping them to a comfortable win, followed by one over the Aussies a week later to take the title.

Springboks v All Blacks – 5 October 2013

All Blacks won 38-27

The 2013 Rugby Championship was the second edition of the expanded competition, after Argentina had joined the previous year, and ended with the All Blacks absolutely dominating to win all six games they played. The Boks didn’t have a bad year themselves, winning their other four games comfortably, including a massive 73-13 thrashing of Argentina at Soccer City, but lost both against the All Blacks, the second coming at Ellis Park.

In the match the visitors outscored the hosts five tries to four, with a double to Liam Messam and tries to Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett and Kieran Read backed up by flawless kicking from Aaron Cruden and Barrett to seal the win.

Springboks v All Blacks – 4 October 2014

Boks won 27-25

The 2014 Rugby Championship was a tight one, with the Boks and All Blacks both finishing with four wins from their six games, but the All Blacks opening draw with Australia, while the Boks lost against the same opposition by a point, proving decisive in the end as the All Blacks finished top.

In the match a top first half from the Boks saw them lead 21-13 at the break thanks to two tries from Handre Pollard and one to Francois Hougaard, with Pollard slotting all three conversions. A penalty early in the second half pushed them 24-13 up, before the All Blacks fought back to lead 25-24 with two minutes to go. Up then stepped Pat Lambie to slot a last gasp penalty to clinch the win. It proved to be the Boks last home win over the All Blacks until last weekend in Mbombela.

Springboks v All Blacks – 25 July 2015

All Blacks won 27-20

The 2015 Rugby Championship was a very difficult one for the Boks, as they picked up the wooden spoon for the only time in the expanded tournament. Shortened to just one match against each side due to it being a World Cup year, the Boks suffered a 24-20 defeat against Australia in Brisbane and were surprisingly beaten 37-25 by Argentina in Durban.

Against the All Blacks the Boks were however on course to sneak a win as they held a tight 20-17 lead going into the last 10 minutes of the match. Both sides had managed two converted tries each, with an extra penalty to Handre Pollard the difference, only for a converted Richie McCaw try, followed by an 80th minute Lima Sopoaga penalty to seal the result for the visitors.