Springboks v All Blacks: The last 4 encounters

All Blacks v Springboks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)
All Blacks v Springboks (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Yokohama - New Zealand kick off the defence of their Rugby World Cup title in a blockbusting Pool B opener against old rivals South Africa in Yokohama on Saturday.

AFP Sports looks at the last four Test matches between the two sides, which have been decided by a total of just five points.

New Zealand 16-16 South Africa, July 17 2019

An epic draw in Wellington was sealed when Handre Pollard kept his nerve to convert a last-gasp Herschel Jantjies try.

While South Africa were jubilant, the All Blacks trudged from the field as if they had lost, left ruing an error-ridden display.

The Springboks dominated the first half only to trail 7-6 at the break, and were then outplayed in the second half before producing the equalising try in the final minute.

"We won 16-all," was Bok coach Rassie Erasmus' take on the result. "We take a lot of belief out of this game."

South Africa 30 - 32 New Zealand, Oct 6 2018

Home advantage again counted for nothing as the All Blacks trumped the hosts by two points at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

New Zealand twice came from 17 points behind during the second half to grab a last-gasp win in the 2018 Rugby Championship final-round thriller.

Ardie Savea scored a pushover try in the 79th minute to level the scores and another replacement, Richie Mo'unga, slotted an easy conversion for a dramatic triumph.

After turning level at 6-6, South Africa built a 30-13 lead on the hour only to be pipped by the resilient world champions.

New Zealand 34 -36 South Africa, Sept 15 2018

South Africa gave New Zealand a taste of their own medicine with victory at Wellington's Westpac Stadium.

It was the Springboks' first win over the All Blacks since their 27-25 victory in 2014, and the New Zealand's first home defeat to the Boks since 2009.

Winger Aphiwe Dyantyi, who has since tested positive for banned substances and will miss the Rugby World Cup, scored two tries in a free-scoring match.

Willie Le Roux, Malcolm Marx and Cheslin Kolbe also crossed for the visitors, who had lost their previous two matches and were under intense pressure heading into the game.

Rieko Ioane scored twice for the All Blacks, while Jordie Barrett, Aaron Smith, Codie Taylor and Ardie Savea also went over for the home side. But Beauden Barrett was off-target with the boot, nailing only two of his six attempts at the sticks.

South Africa 24-25 New Zealand, Oct 7 2017

2017 Rugby Championship title winners New Zealand snuck this thrilling final-round match at Newlands stadium in Cape Town by a point, helped after the hosts were reduced to 14 men when French referee Jerome Garces red-carded centre Damian de Allende.

The lead changed hands several times before a brilliant 69th-minute try by Damian McKenzie, out injured for the World Cup, helped the All Blacks build an eight-point advantage.

South Africa, who had suffered a 57-0 blow-out to the All Blacks three weeks earlier in Albany, fought back with a Malcolm Marx try converted by Elton Jantjies narrowing the gap to one point, but the visitors held on to the death.

Referee Garces will again be the man in charge on Saturday having now refereed five Springboks-All Blacks Tests that all ended with New Zealand winning.

"It's a big game, we just need to let the ref get on with it and prepare for it himself," New Zealand coach Steve Hansen said of Saturday's Pool B blockbuster opener after counterpart Erasmus claimed the All Blacks received special consideration.

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