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South Africa 26-10 New Zealand: All Blacks slump to fifth defeat in last six Tests

South Africa led from the eighth minute until the end of the match
South Africa (10) 26
Tries: Arendse, Le Roux Disadvantages: Pollard 2 Pen: Pollard 3 Drop-goal Pruned tree
New Zealand (3) 10
Tries: Frizzell Disadvantages: Mo’unga Pen: J Barrett

New Zealand suffered a fifth defeat in their last six Tests as they lost 26-10 to South Africa in their first Rugby Championship in Nelspruit.

Wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was later sent off, crossed for the first try.

Handre Pollard kicked the Springboks 19-3 ahead but Shannon Frizell reduced the deficit with a late try.

As the All Blacks pushed for another, substitute Willie le Roux scored in the penultimate play of the match and Pollard converted the final try.

Further disappointment for the visitors after losing the first home Test series to Ireland last month.

Arendse’s first international effort was just the reward as the world champions dominated the build-up and breakdown from the start of the match, despite losing Faf de Klerk in the first minute with a header.

Pollard’s 16 points inflicted further damage on the All Blacks as the hosts recorded their biggest win over their southern hemisphere rivals since 1928.

The only negative for the Boks was Arendse’s dismissal for a dangerous tackle in the air in the 75th minute.

But Frizell’s late response could not dampen the party atmosphere at the Mbombela Stadium as Le Roux collected a loose ball to run away and register a second South African try.

New Zealand went into the game as underdogs, but their third straight defeat puts even more pressure on coach Ian Foster.

“Congratulations to South Africa, they were more clinical than us,” Foster said. “They played well.

“They went into the game under pressure and that put a lot of pressure on us.

“For us, I actually thought it was a step up in performance from the last series. The line-out worked well, the maul defense was good and our overall defense was pretty solid.

“Maybe we lost a little bit of time in terms of our offense. We’ll have to go and see.”

New Zealand conceded 11 penalties to the Boks’ seven and Foster added: “I felt like we weren’t getting the green in the first 20 minutes and that set us back a bit.

“The third quarter was crucial for us in terms of getting back into the game, but all the Springboks did was push hard and take a couple of penalties. That’s their game, which is a pressure game.

“You saw as the match developed, the chances started to come, there were just a few handling errors. I thought we made some strides [forward]but we have to prove it next week.”

All Blacks captain Sam Cane said: “The Springboks threw a lot at us, we did really well to absorb it but it took a lot out of us. They kept putting pressure, especially at the breakdown, and that disrupted a lot of our flow.

“We are bitterly disappointed, it hurts a lot. We need to get better at collapsing the contestants too [in the air]. I can’t ask for more from the team in terms of belief and effort. It’s just small margins at this level.”

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