Boks desperate for win in Durban
July 29, 2009
Joe Rokocoko with Ashwin Willemse after New Zealand's win in Durban in 2007 © Getty Images
After ending their long wait for a victory over New Zealand in Bloemfontein, South Africa this week turn their attention to arresting their poor run against the All Blacks in Durban.
The Springboks have won just two of their five previous meetings with the Kiwis at King's Park and their last two clashes have gone the way of the visitors.
In 2002, Andre Pretorius helped himself to a personal tally of 18 points (a try, a drop goal, two conversions and two penalties) but South Africa still came out on the wrong end of a 30-23 scoreline, with Leon MacDonald, Doug Howlett, Aaron Mauger and a penalty try helping New Zealand to a dramatic bonus-point win in Durban.
Unfortunately, the game was overshadowed by an unsavoury incident just after half time in which referee David McHugh was attacked by a supporter.
The lunatic fan was quickly wrestled to the floor by Richie McCaw but McHugh suffered a shoulder injury as a result of the assault and had to be replaced by Chris White.
Two years ago, meanwhile, New Zealand edged a titanic battle, 26-21, with Richie McCaw and Joe Rokocoko both crossing in the final 12 minutes to seal a memorable comeback win for Graham Henry's men.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then but there can be no doubt that South Africa will be determined to make amends at King's Park this weekend.
All-time record: New Zealand won 42, South Africa won 31, drawn 3
Biggest winning margin: SA: 17, 17-0 at Durban, 1928; NZ: 36, 52-16 at Pretoria, 2003
Highest score: SA: 46 (46-40) at Johannesburg, 2000; NZ: 55 (55-35) at Auckland, 1997
Most tries: SA: 6 (46-40) at Johannesburg, 2000; NZ: 7 (55-35) at Auckland, 1997
Longest winning sequence: SA: 6 (1937-1949); NZ: 7 (2001-2004)
Most points (individual) : SA: Percy Montgomery 106; NZ: Andrew Mehrtens 209
Most tries (individual) : SA: 6 Joost van der Westhuizen; NZ: 10 Christian Cullen
Most points in a Test: SA: 22 Jannie de Beer at Johannesburg 1997; NZ: 25 Carlos Spencer at Auckland, 1997
Click Here for South Africa's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for New Zealand's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for a record of all South Africa v New Zealand matches courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for the South Africa v New Zealand record at Free State Stadium courtesy of Statsguru
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor