|The Rugby Championship, Cape Town|
|South Africa (3) 24|
|Tries: Cronje, Du Preez, Marx Pens: Jantjies Cons: Jantjies 2, Pollard|
|New Zealand (8) 25|
|Tries: Crotty, Ioane, McKenzie Pens: Barrett, Sopoaga Cons: Sopoaga 2|
New Zealand completed their Rugby Championship campaign with a 100% record as they withstood a South Africa fightback to win a riveting contest.
A try from Jean-Luc du Preez midway through the second half put South Africa in front 17-15 before Damian McKenzie restored New Zealand’s lead.
South Africa’s Damian de Allende was red-carded late on for an elbow.
Despite losing a man the Boks scored through Malcolm Marx but champions New Zealand held on in Cape Town.
The All Blacks, who had already secured the title going into the match, beat the Springboks by a record 57-0 last month.
The teams traded early penalties on Saturday before Ryan Crotty scored the first try to give New Zealand an 8-3 lead at the break.
The second half was a pulsating affair.
Ross Cronje’s converted try soon put the Springboks ahead but Rieko Ioane picked off an interception and rampaged 80m to see the All Blacks back in front.
Within three minutes South Africa restored their lead as Jean-Luc Du Preez strode over, only for a moment of magic from McKenzie to once again put New Zealand ahead.
The key moment came when Sopoaga stretched the lead to eight points with a penalty awarded for a late, high tackle on him by De Allende, who was dismissed – perhaps harshly – by French referee Jerome Garces.
However, a Springboks side unrecognisable from the one crushed by the All Blacks in Auckland, responded as Marx barged over after a line-out and Jantjies converted.
But a turnover as they pressed forward in search of a thrilling win allowed the All Blacks to kick out the ball and secure the victory.
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