Rugby Championship

Springboks v All Blacks rivalry reaches 100 Tests: What the numbers say

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Eben Etzebeth of South Africa wins the line out against New Zealand. (Kaz Photography/Getty Images)
Eben Etzebeth of South Africa wins the line out against New Zealand. (Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

Saturday marks an historic occasion between the Springboks and All Blacks when they faced off in their Rugby Championship clash in Townsville - it will be the 100th Test between the two great rivals. 

Here are some interesting stats to illuminate just how longstanding ... and lopsided the rivalry has become.

- It is, rather neatly, 100 years since the two countries started facing each other. The first meeting was on 13 August 1921 when the New Zealanders won 13-5 in Dunedin.

- In the preceding 99 Tests between the teams, the All Blacks have won 59 and the Springboks 36. They have drawn 4 times. 

- Broken into pre-isolation and post-isolation eras, South Africa's win record becomes stark in its contrast. Between 1921 and 1992, the Boks played 37 Tests against the All Blacks and won 20, their opponents claiming 15 victories. However, from 1992 onwards, the Boks have only won 16 of 62 Tests, the All Blacks generally romping to 44 wins.

- Despite that record, the Springboks still boast the best winning percentage of all opponents against the All Blacks - 36.4%

- Both the Springboks' heaviest Test defeats in the pre- and post-isolation eras have been at the hands of the All Blacks. From 1891 to 1992, their biggest loss was the 3-20 defeat in Auckland in 1965. From 1992, it was the 57-0 massacre of Albany in 2017. That result was is also the All Blacks' biggest win over the Boks.

- In contrast, the Boks' biggest win over the All Blacks remains the 17-0 victory at Kingsmead all the way back in 1928.

- The most points the Springboks have scored in a Test against the All Blacks is in the 46-40 win at Ellis Park in 2000.

- They also scored their most tries in a match against the New Zealanders in that Test - six (two for Robbie Fleck, two for Werner Swanepoel, one each for Thinus Delport and Chester Williams)

- Morne Steyn holds the honour of the Springbok who's scored the most individuals points in a match against the All Blacks - he scored all 31 points in 2009's 31-19 victory at King's Park.

- Steyn also holds the all-time record for most career points by a Springbok against the All Blacks - 139 between 2009 and 2021.

- The All Blacks' current player with the most career points against the Springboks is Beauden Barrett with 102 points. (Dan Carter holds the all-time record of 255). Handre Pollard boasts 96 points.

- The only pre-isolation player to boast more than 40 career points between the two countries is Naas Botha, who scored 44 points.

- Two Springboks have scored hat-tricks against the All Blacks - Ray Mordt in 1981 and Marius Joubert in 2004. No All Black player has scored more than two tries in a match.

- Christian Cullen is the leading career try-scorer for New Zealand against the Springboks with 10. Bryan Habana is South Africa's record holder with 8

- Only one post-isolation Bok coach holds a positive win record against the All Blacks - Nick Mallett with 57% (4 wins from 7). Peter de Villiers has the most victories over the All Blacks (5 from 11).

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