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All Blacks v South Africa 1.0 Stat Attack

The All Blacks missed out to the Springboks in their fixture last weekend. Some facts and figures from this test below by Peter Marriott. 

New Zealand v South Africa: Lost 10-26

New Zealand and South Africa first met in a test at Dunedin on 13 August 1921 when New Zealand won 13-5.

Since then they have played a total of 102 tests against each other. New Zealand has won 60 matches and
South Africa 38: there have been four draws.

South Africa has hosted 51 matches winning 26 times to New Zealand’s 24. There has been one draw. Before
this match New Zealand had won the previous four in succession (a record winning sequence in South Africa)
their last loss being in October 2014 at Johannesburg when the home team won a close match 27-25.

The All Blacks played a test for the first time at the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela which was formerly
known as Nelspruit. This is the ninth South African city to host an All Black test and of the previous three
tests held at the venue (the first was against Scotland in 2013), the home side had won each time.

With successive losses against Ireland, the All Blacks have lost their last three tests on the trot. This has not
happened since they actually lost their last five matches in a row in 1998. Three of those tests were against
Australia and two were against South Africa.

Apart from the above instance, the All Blacks have only lost four or more tests in a row on two other occasions.
In 1929 they lost all three of the tests they played and the first one in 1930, and the other time was in 1949
when they simultaneously played six tests: four against South Africa in South Africa and two against Australia
in New Zealand. All six tests were lost.

South Africa’s victory by 16 points equals the third highest winning margin ever inflicted on New Zealand in a
test match. The highest is 21 points, both times by Australia: 28-7 at Sydney in 1999 and 47-26 at Perth in
2019. The second highest winning margin over New Zealand is 17 points: by South Africa (17-0) at Durban in
1928 and by England (38-21) at London in 2012. In 1980 the All Blacks were beaten 26-10 by Australia in

The All Blacks have lost three of their first four matches played in 2022. This is their worst start to a season
after playing four matches since 1970 when the results of all four tests played that year were, lost, won,
lost and lost. Those matches were all in South Africa where the home side won the series 3-1.

The All Blacks have registered 10 points in a test match on 12 occasions winning six times, losing five and
drawing once. They last scored 10 points against Australia at Sydney in the World Cup Semi-final of 2003,
when they lost 10-22 thanks mainly to an intercept try by Stirling Mortlock in the eighth minute which the All
Blacks never quite recovered from. They have now scored 10 points against South Africa three times for two
losses and a win. That win by 10-6 and played at Dunedin in 1956, was the first time New Zealand had
recorded 10 points in a match and was their 88th test overall.

South Africa led 10-3 at halftime in Mbombela but had not restricted the All Blacks to three points at the half
way stage since they led 14-3 at Bloemfontein in July 2009. South Africa eventually won that match 28-19.

For the third test in row, the All Blacks have scored less than 10 points in the opening half. Against Ireland
at Dunedin they trailed 7-10 at the break, against Ireland in Wellington it was 3-22 and now in Mbombela
it was 3-10 after 40 minutes. All three tests were lost. This has only happened once before in their history.

In 1949 they played tests in separate series against South Africa and Australia and in successive matches
they were behind 3-6 against South Africa in Johannesburg, trailed 0-11 against Australia in Wellington and
were down 3-6 at halftime against South Africa in Durban. All three tests were lost. Incidentally the tests
played at Wellington and Durban were held on the same day (3 September).

South Africa has now beaten New Zealand in their last two outings which includes their 31-29 win at Robina
in Australia last year. The last time South Africa won successive matches against the All Blacks was when
they actually won all three tests played in 2009: two at home and one in New Zealand.

The All Blacks have played more tests in August (114) than any other month. June and July share second
place with 112 apiece. New Zealand’s only try against South Africa at Mbombela was the 300th to be scored
in an August test. That try incidentally took the All Blacks aggregate points score in all tests in South Africa to
exactly 1000 and with the conversion the total now stands at 1002.

The All Blacks have scored just one try in 110 of the 616 tests they have played. They have won 66 times
(60.0%), lost 39 and drawn five. Of the 27 occasions they have scored a single try against South Africa,
they have won just 11 times (40.7%), lost 14 and drawn twice. The last time the All Blacks were restricted to
one try against South Africa was at Port Elizabeth in 2011.

Of those 110 matches in which the All Blacks scored just a single try, 61 of them have been second-half tries.
Their try in the 78th minute in Mbombela must be close to being the “latest” ever scored in those 61
test matches.

For the record, the All Blacks have failed to score a try against South Africa on 15 occasions but not since
winning 12-3 at Cape Town in 2001 in an all-penalty affair. Since that match South Africa have remained
tryless a further nine times.

Twelve of the All Black squad had not previously played in South Africa. They were Jordie Barrett, George
Bower, Finlay Christie, Caleb Clarke, Ethan de Groot, Akira Ioane, Will Jordan, Tyrel Lomax, Angus Ta’avao,
Samisoni Taukei’aho, Quinn Tupaea and Tupou Vaa’i. It was their first test against South Africa for Christie,
Clarke, de Groot, Lomax and Vaa’i.

Caleb Clarke, Ethan de Groot, Shannon Frizell and Tyrel Lomax all appeared in their first test in 2022 and took
the number of All Blacks who have played at least one test this year to 37.

Three of the South African squad had not previously played against New Zealand. They were Kurt-Lee Arendse,
Jaden Hendrikse and Salmaan Moerat. Both Arendse and Moerat were appearing in just their second test.
Hendrikse had only played in four tests.

The All Blacks starting XV boasted a total of 721 caps between them including three players who had appeared
in more than 100 tests. Four others had made at least 50 appearances.

The Springboks starting XV had a total number of 683 caps between them but only one player could claim to
have appeared in 100 test matches. However, six others had at least 50 appearances to their name.

By comparison the All Black bench totalled 178 caps and South Africa’s totalled 297 caps.

For the first time this year the All Blacks performed the Kapa o Pango Haka which had been introduced in the
test match against South Africa in Dunedin on 27 August 2005.

Sam Cane captained New Zealand for the first time in a test against South Africa. He is the 24th All Black to
do so against them and is one of nine who lost their first test in charge. The previous eight were Maurice
Brownlie, Fred Allen, Ron Elvidge, Wilson Whineray, Brian Lochore, Andy Leslie, Taine Randell and Keven
Mealamu. Allen, Elvidge and Randell all lost their second match in charge.

The All Black’s sole try (in the 78th minute) was scored by Shannon Frizell who came off the bench. It was
his fourth try, and first against South Africa, in 18 test appearances.

Kurt-Lee Arendse scored his first try in just his second test. However, later in the match he was red-carded
for dangerous play against Beauden Barrett. Arendse was also injured in the incident (in the 74th minute) and
had to be stretchered off the field. (He was subsequently given a four-week suspension).

Kurt-Lee Arendse was the fourth South African player to be red-carded in a test against the All Blacks. The
first was Andre Venter at Auckland in 1997, second was Bismarck du Plessis at Auckland in 2013 (he was
issued with two yellow cards which automatically become a red card) and then Damian de Allende, at Cape
Town in 2017.

Earlier in the match, actually after just 34 seconds, the South African halfback Faf de Klerk had also been
injured in a tackle and he too had to be stretchered off the field. He recovered but did not take any further part in
the match.

Willie le Roux scored South Africa’s second try, his 13th (in 74 test appearances) and fourth against New

Handre Pollard kicked 16 points to take his total in all matches against New Zealand to 136. He is now just
four points short of becoming the highest point scorer for South Africa in tests against the All Blacks. The
record is presently held by Morne Steyn who in 13 tests scored 139 points made up of one try, 10 conversions,
36 penalties and two drop goals.

Pollard’s drop goal was the third by a South African player in their last four matches against the All Blacks. By
comparison, the All Blacks have not kicked a drop goal against South Africa since Dan Carter did so during
the 2015 World Cup Semi-final match at Twickenham: a match which the All Blacks won by two points (20-18).

Siya Kolisi has now led South Africa in six tests against the All Blacks. His record is won three, and lost three.

The All Blacks overall test record after this match is played 616, won 473 (76.8%), lost 121 and drawn 22.

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