South Africa end All Blacks' 15-game winning streak

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Saturday, September 2, 2006

South Africa have defeated the All Blacks (New Zealand) in a rugby union Tri Nations match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. The final score was a one-point victory, 21 to 20, ending the All Blacks' 15 game winning streak. For the Springboks, it ended a five-match losing streak. The All Blacks performed the controversial Kapo O Pango haka before the match. It was the final match for the All Blacks, who had already won the trophy two weeks ago. The final match of the series will take place at Ellis Park in Johannesburg next week, when the Springboks play Australia.

The first opportunity for points came in the 6th minute when New Zealand were penalised. South Africa opted to kick at goal, and even though there was some breeze at the ground, André Pretorius slotted it through the posts, giving South Africa a three point lead. However the All Blacks were able to even the scores in the 10th minute, with Dan Carter kicking a penalty goal after the Springboks were penalised for off-side near their line. Pretorius' boot was accurate once again, when he successfully kicked another penalty goal in the 17th minute, giving South Africa the lead once again, six points to three. The first try of the match was scored in the 20th minute, when Carter crossed the line and after converting his own try, the All Blacks led 10 to six. However the Springboks bounced back within minutes, with wing Bryan Habana intercepting a New Zealand pass, and racing down to score under the posts. Pretorius converted from in front, and South Africa were back in front, leading 13 to 10. The All Blacks were unable to level the scores in the 27th minute, with Carter missing a penalty goal. The All Blacks' were denied a try in the 37th minute when the television match official deemed one of the New Zealanders to have been an obstruction. Carter was able to level the scores on the stroke of half time with a penalty kick.

Pretorius attempted to put South Africa back in front, attempting two drop goals, though both missed. A line-out turnover soon led to Pedrie Wannenburg getting over the try line to score South Africa's second try. Pretorius' conversion was away to the left, however, South Africa were now leading 18 to 13, with over 20 minutes remaining in the game. Joe Rokocoko scored a try for the All Blacks in the 66th minute, and Carter converted the try from the touchline to give the All Blacks a 2 point lead, the score now 20-18 with 14 minutes remaining. Pretorius attempted another drop kick with nine minutes remaining, though it missed, and the All Blacks remained in front. The Springboks were back in front, by one point, 21 to 20, when Pretorius landed a penalty kick with two minutes remaining in the match. A New Zealand knock-on in the 79th minute led to a South African scrum. The scrum needed to be set a number of times, sending the clock into overtime. However the ball got out and the whistle was blown, sending the crowd and players into celebration.

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