Two weekends ago the All Blacks leaped South Africa as the No 1 ranked team in the world despite having not played the Springboks since the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
This has ended a nearly three year absence for the All Blacks from the No 1 spot.
The two sides faced off last weekend and it came down to a 78th minute penalty kick by Jordie Barrett that put New Zealand infront by a hairline 19-17.
Both sides traded early tries to Will Jordan for the ABs and Sbu Nkosi for South Africa.
Codie Taylor thought he was a winger early in the match when he put on some elusive footwork against slack Springbok defenders and then sped into the backfield before an easy draw and pass to set Will Jordan up for a try.
The match took everyone back to memories of the 2010 Springboks match where Morne Steyn was in the No 10 jersey putting up-and-under kicks from all over the park, and legendary lock Victor Matfield was reading All Black lineouts like a book.
After Springboks twin tower locks Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager disrupted a few All Black lineouts, the Boks found themselves with possession.
Handre Pollard sent a towering up and under to the direction of George Bridge. He could not control it and with a bit of miscommunication between him and TJ Perenara, Nkosi pounced on the ball to bring them back with 2 points.
The match became a shootout between the right boots of NZ fullback Jordie Barret and Springbok first-five Handre Pollard.
There were seven changes in the lead as Pollard and Barrett went penalty for penalty until Barrett’s ever reliable right boot kicked New Zealand into the lead at the 78th minute and eventually to win the match.
Fans went to social media to express their disappointment in what they felt was a mediocre performance and boring game overall.
This marked the 100th match between New Zealand and South Africa.
The All Blacks and the Springboks go head to head again this weekend.
All Blacks vs Springboks
Saturday night @ 11:05pm (Samoan Time).