The Springboks knew what was needed to claim the Rugby Championship, and achieved part of the mammoth task by scoring a four try bonus point, but conceded five in what was a thrilling game of rugby, won 38-27 by the All Blacks in the end.
New Zealand won at Ellis Park for the first time in 16 years as they not only beat their greatest rivals away from home, but claimed another Rugby Championship title, going unbeaten all season.
They started the better of the two sides with a brilliant early try to prolific tryscorer Ben Smith. The Springboks then bounced back with two great tries of their own, finished well by Bryan Habana.
First it was Duane Vermeulen that put Habana away, then Francois Louw with an excellent pass before the speedy winger chipped the covering defence. Habana pulled up shortly after that with a hamstring injury, leaving the field on 52 Test tries.
Liam Messam crossed for the All Blacks after a strong build up, and also made a decisive blow just before halftime, after South Africa had attempted to run the ball out from their own 22.
Messam was later yellow carded for slowing the ball down, as was Ben Franks, although his was for a swinging arm to the face of replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen.
Willie Le Roux scored, and then Jean De Villiers crossed for the all important fourth try but with the All Blacks having scored three of their own at that stage, by the time Beauden Barrett scored it was Championship over for the home side, taking a slight bit of sting out of the contest.
Read, who had an incredible match, got on the end of a neat bit of play by Julain Savea, rubbing salt into the wounds and extending the visitors’ lead, securing the well deserved win.
Over 60 000 fans witnessed an unbelievable spectacle, one that will long be remembered as an epic game between the two best teams in the world. A mention should also be made of referee Nigel Owens, who did a stellar job under immense pressure on an enourmous occasion.
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