Springboks

Springboks v NZ World Cup record: Honours even

SA fly half Joel Stransky kicks the winning drop goal amid a challenge by New Zealand’s Andrew Mehrtens, who himself scored two drop goals in the 1995 World Cup final between the two nations. PHOTO: Gallo Images
SA fly half Joel Stransky kicks the winning drop goal amid a challenge by New Zealand’s Andrew Mehrtens, who himself scored two drop goals in the 1995 World Cup final between the two nations. PHOTO: Gallo Images

Cape Town - The Springboks will meet the world champion All Blacks in Pool B of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan in a draw that, on the surface, looks a tough one.

It will be the first time the sides have met in the pool stages of a World Cup, and it makes finishing top of the group a tough ask for the South Africans. 

The good news is that, if the Boks beat Italy, they should qualify for the knockouts where a quarter-final against Ireland, Scotland or Japan awaits. 

Playing against the All Blacks is always daunting, but a look at the World Cup history between the sides suggests that the Boks should back themselves. 

Of course, a lot has changed in recent times and the Boks have fallen to No 7 in the world rankings, but they can still take heart from sharing a 50/50 record with New Zealand on the stage where it matters most. 

The Boks and All Blacks have clashed FOUR times in Rugby World Cups before, with two victories each.

South Africa won the famous final of 1995, when Joel Stransky's extra time drop goal became a moment that the country would never forget. 

Then, in 1999, the sides met in the 3rd place play-off match. The Boks again emerged victorious with Breyton Paulse scoring the only try of the game in a 22-18 win. 

That, unfortunately, was the last time the Boks beat the All Blacks in a World Cup. 

They were outplayed in the quarter-finals in 2003 when they lost 29-9, and then Heyneke Meyer's Springboks fell just short in the 2015 semi-finals when they lost 20-18. 

The All Blacks have won three World Cups and South Africa two. 

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