Boks did us all a massive favour
Overseas critics have hailed the All Blacks’ loss to the Springboks as ‘‘the result world rugby needed’’ with the world champions panned for spurning a match winning drop goal attempt.
Ben Coles made those claims in London’s Daily Telegraph, saying: ‘‘After the British and Lions won the second test in Wellington last year, South Africa raided the same venue today for their first victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand for nine years.
‘‘One image summed up his side’s effort: the sight of a sobbing PieterSteph du Toit after the final whistle overcome by the magnitude of what the Springboks had achieved. The flanker contributed 28 of South Africa’s eye-watering tally of 226 tackles, a large portion of those stemming from a desperate defensive stand in the closing stages when they were down to 14 men. New Zealand by contrast made only 46 tackles in the entire test.
‘‘The All Blacks’ many mistakes would have been rendered insignificant had Beauden Barrett or Damian McKenzie remained in the pocket for a drop goal in the final minutes.
‘‘Why neither player stayed in position for the winning strike remains a mystery. The situation screamed out for a drop goal.’’
Nigel Botherway, writing in The Times, claimed South Africa did world rugby ‘‘a massive favour’’ by ‘‘proving that New Zealand can be beaten: that the previously invincible men in black are mere mortals after all’’.
‘‘The All Blacks are still a truly amazing team. At first they tore the Springboks apart, but then they fell apart, gifting their visitors two tries that were the equivalent of own goals.’’
Mahlatse Mphahlele said in South Africa’s Sunday Times that the Springboks ‘‘pulled off a stunning performance characterised by grit and determination’’. ‘‘Though the Boks were impressive for this bonus-point victory, they partly have All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett to thank as he missed four easy conversions that could have proved the difference.’’
Jon Doel, writing for Wales Online, said South Africa had ‘‘pulled of one of the greatest victories in recent rugby memory’’.
‘‘The Boks had lost 57-0 to the same opponents just a year before and hadn’t beaten New Zealand away from home for nine years.
‘‘But that all changed [in Wellington] amid astonishing scenes.
‘‘Many commentators and fans are describing it as the result the sport desperately needed as the awesome All Blacks machine finally came unstuck after nine consecutive wins.’’
Craig Lewis, from South Africa Rugby Magazine, said the Wellington upset was a ‘‘classic’’ and ‘‘a game and result for the ages’’.
‘‘The Boks came into this clash after suffering two successive losses and facing an All Blacks team that they had only managed to beat in one of their last 12 meetings. History and all expectations were against them.
‘‘Yet, after 80 minutes of brutal, beautiful test-match rugby, tears would flow from a Bok team that wrote a piece of history in Wellington.
Beauden Barrett, centre, reflects on a frustrating night when his goalkicking misses proved costly as the All Blacks lost 36-34 to South Africa in Wellington.
Cheslin Kolbe and the Springboks turned world rugby upside down with their win.