Thursday, July 23, 2009
After a dismal 2003, 2004 was a far better year for the Springboks as they went on to win the Tri Nations for the first time since 1998. Winning abroad was still an issue for them though, as this classic match was snatched at the death by the supreme finisher, Doug Howlett.
South Africa scored three tries through Jean De Villiers, Jacques Cronje, and Fourie Du Preez, as well as three penalties by Percy Montgomery. The first, from De Villiers, came within 23 seconds as they got the perfect start to the match.
The All Blacks stayed in touch throughout through five penalties from the boot of young Dan Carter, who had begun his rise to rugby stardom.
In the 79th minute, with the Boks in the lead at 21-18, the All Blacks got downfield and worked the ball wide to Howlett, who dived over in the dying seconds to break Springbok hearts.
The final score was 23-21 to the home side.