Boks do green and gold proud
The Springboks didn't win the match but they won back hearts and minds with a colossal performance that took the All Blacks to the brink at Newlands on Saturday in one of the best Tests ever between the two sides.
New Zealand's 25-24 win was testament to their ruthless ability to make the most of their chances on the back of some individual Bok errors. In a game of minuscule margins, the All Blacks were that little bit more clinical.
Over 90 minutes (the first half ran to 50 minutes) the Boks were the better team.
But New Zealand were good enough to hang in when they had to and pounce when the right moment arose as they beat the Boks for a 57th time in their 95th meeting.
It also gave the All Blacks a 100% winning record in the tournament for a second successive year and took their tally to 30 wins in 33 Rugby Championship matches, with only two losses and a draw.
Despite the result - South Africa's sixth loss in a row against New Zealand - the word "rivalry" has been restored to the lexicon of Boks versus All Black contests after the Boks lost 57-0 in Albany three weeks ago.
The performance also gave a kernel of hope that perhaps something special is brewing with this Bok squad.
The next challenge is finding consistency and matching this type of ferociously focused performance every time they take to the field.
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