The Springboks against the All Blacks is one of the biggest duels on the international rugby stage and players from both teams often say that such a test brings out the best in them on the field.
But in the run-up to Rassie Erasmus’ official appointment on March 1, 2018, things were difficult for the Boks.
The South Africans lost 57–15 against the Kiwis in Durban in October 2016, after which they were beaten 57–0 in Albany in September 2017.
A one-point defeat (25–24) a month later at Newlands did little to restore the Boks’ name to glory and supporters were rightly worried.
Cometh the hour, cometh the manas the Englishman says: In 2018, Erasmus not only led the Boks to their best performance since 2014 in the Rugby Championship, but also ensured that South Africa struck again against New Zealand.
Two tries by Aphiwe Dyantyi ensured that the Boks won 36–34 in Wellington; their first win against the All Blacks in seven Tests.
“We tried everything against them, but South Africa defended excellently and they undoubtedly deserve the victory. They put us under a lot of pressure,” New Zealand’s Kieran Read said after the game.
Since that day in Wellington, the Springboks and the All Blacks have each won five tests, while in 2019 there was also a draw.
However, the Boks reigned supreme in probably the most important game of the game last month, when they walked away with the World Cup laurels at the Stade de France.
In addition, Erasmus will again hold the national coaching whistle with a view to the next World Cup tournament in 2027.
“I can confirm that Rassie Erasmus will combine his duties as director of rugby with that of Springbok coach,” a senior official in the South African Rugby Union (Saru) confirmed to AFP on Sunday.
From 57–0 to World Cup breakers. Thank you, Rassie and team.
South Africa/New Zealand results since Erasmus has been part of the Springbok coaching set-up:
15 September 2018: South Africa 36 – 34 New Zealand in Wellington
6 October 2018: New Zealand 32 – 30 South Africa in Pretoria
27 July 2019: South Africa 16 – 16 New Zealand in Wellington
21 September 2019: New Zealand 23 – 13 South Africa in Yokohama
25 September 2021: New Zealand 19 – 17 South Africa in Townsville
2 October 2021: South Africa 31 – 29 New Zealand on the Gold Coast
6 August 2022: South Africa 26 – 10 New Zealand in Nelspruit
13 August 2022: New Zealand 35 – 23 South Africa in Johannesburg
15 July 2023: New Zealand 35 – 20 South Africa in Auckland
25 August 2023: South Africa 35 – 7 New Zealand in London
28 October 2023: South Africa 12 – 11 New Zealand in Paris
Points for South Africa: 259
Points for New Zealand: 251