The meeting had however started badly for the reigning world champions, their scrum half Faf de Klerk being forced out on a stretcher after 40 short seconds of play, sounded after hitting the knee of Caleb Clarke. But, under the impetus of an inspired Handré Pollard, the Boks struck first. Following a kick from the South African number 10, Lukhanyo Am took advantage of an involuntary throwback from Beauden Barrett to send Kurt-Lee Arendse behind the line (7-0, 8th).
Started on high bases, the meeting then got stuck in a more choppy physiognomy, where the locals took advantage of unruly All Blacks, like a Sam Cane penalized on the ground and at the origin of the first penalty registered by Pollard, to set sail. Symbol of the lack of aggressiveness of the visitors, the South African opening half had plenty of time to adjust a drop shortly before the hour mark, to push New Zealand to 13 points (16-3, 58th ).
A lively end to the game
We had to wait for the last seconds to review the tests in this part. A few minutes after the red card collected by Arendse, for a dangerous gesture on Beauden Barrett when the ball fell, Shannon Frizell allowed his team to avoid the affront of ending this meeting without having scored a single try. A slight boost of energy quickly forgotten by the new blunder of the Blacks, allowing Le Roux to establish the success of the Boks, 26 to 10.
Whether through Beauden Barrett in the first half, Will Jordan at the start of the second period or Dane Coles at the start of the last quarter of an hour, the New Zealanders tried, but, symbol of their glaring lack of confidence, never seemed able to find the solutions in attack. Just over a year from the World Cup, the construction site is still just as substantial.