WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — South Africa pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Rugby Championship on Saturday, holding on under enormous pressure to beat New Zealand 36-34.
Given almost no chance of winning after losing their last two championship matches — and 11 of their last 12 tests against the All Blacks, including the last six in succession — the Springboks found new spirit in attack and defense to win in New Zealand for the first time since 2009.
South Africa trailed 12-0 after only 16 minutes as the match unfolded as fans on both sides had expected, with the All Blacks entirely dominant.
But the Springboks rallied magnificently to lead 24-17 at halftime and 29-17 only a minute into the second half. The All Blacks had never previously conceded 24 points in the first half of a test at home.
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