- New Zealand - rugby - South Africa - Tri-Nations
REUTERS - Flyhalf Morne Steyn scored all of South Africa's points in a 31-19 victory over New Zealand at King's Park on Saturday, the most by one player in a Tri-Nations match.
Steyn's haul came from eight penalties, one conversion and a try to beat Andrew Mehrtens's previous record of 29 points for New Zealand against Australia in Auckland in 1999.
South Africa's victory follows their 28-19 win over New Zealand in their Tri-Nations opener last weekend in Bloemfontein and it is the first time the Springboks have beaten the All Blacks on successive weekends since 1976.
The Springboks led 22-13 at the break, with the All Blacks scoring a try through lock Isaac Ross. The other 14 New Zealand points came via the boot, with flyhalf Stephen Donald kicking three penalties and a conversion, and his replacement, Luke McAlister adding a penalty.
The home side made their tactics obvious from the start, Steyn, fullback Francois Steyn and scrumhalf Fourie du Preez launching a string of pinpoint up-and-unders.
By contrast, the All Blacks showed their intentions to run the ball at all costs and, after Morne Steyn and Donald had traded penalties, the visitors showed how dangerous they could be with the opening try in the 12th minute.
A quick lineout throw five metres from their own tryline and breaks by centre Conrad Smith and flank Richie McCaw saw the All Blacks enter the Springbok 22 with dazzling speed and verve. The defence was outnumbered and the overlap was duly worked to send Ross diving over in the corner.
Donald kicked the conversion and the All Blacks had a 10-3 lead.
But the All Blacks were once again hard hit at the breakdowns and the high-risk ploy of running from deep in their own territory gave the Springboks the penalty opportunities which Steyn took so emphatically.
The 25-year-old kicked penalties in the 15th, 17th and 31st minutes before grabbing his five-pointer with three minutes remaining in the first half. A powerful Springbok scrum turned over possession and Du Preez was quick to pounce, making a dart and then feeding Steyn, who eluded two tacklers to score.
Donald, meanwhile, added a 28th-minute penalty while Springbok wing JP Pietersen was in the sin bin for a high tackle. Ross was yellow-carded three minutes later for blatant offsides at a ruck.
Steyn was on target with another penalty on the halftime hooter to send the Springboks happily into the break. The South Africans once again had the All Blacks' lineout under pressure and the better of the breakdowns, and used this as a platform to keep New Zealand pinned in their own half and under almost constant pressure.
The penalties had to come and Steyn duly kicked them over, adding three-pointers in the 57th, 65th and 74th minutes.
Donald kicked a penalty and Springbok lock Bakkies Botha was yellow carded in the 50th minute, and McAlister added a penalty from inside his own half in the 61st minute. That brought the All Blacks back to 25-19 and South Africa upped their intensity to close out the match.