New Zealand 19-17 South Africa: Late Barrett penalty seals Rugby Championship glory

By Sports Desk September 25, 2021

A late penalty from Jordie Barrett secured a 19-17 win for New Zealand over South Africa and Rugby Championship glory for the All Blacks.

A tight and tense encounter in Queensland was settled when Barrett slotted through the posts with barely a minute remaining, a late error in possession from the Springboks then allowing New Zealand to hoof the ball into touch.

The 100th Test match between these teams started in positive fashion for New Zealand, Will Jordan touching down and Jordie Barrett converting after five minutes, but South Africa promptly turned the game on its head through S'busiso Nkosi's try and two Handre Pollard penalties.

Ian Foster's men, 23-13 winners over the Boks at the Rugby World Cup two years ago, found it hard to maintain any rhythm with the ball but did scrape into a half-time lead through two further Jordie Barrett kicks while Nkosi was sin-binned.

A topsy-turvy, error-strewn contest continued when Pollard and Jordie Barrett exchanged penalties in the space of three minutes, but it seemed South Africa's number 10 might have secured a surprise win to banish thoughts of back-to-back losses to Australia when he kicked them into a 17-16 lead with his fourth three-pointer 14 minutes from time.

Yet it was Jordie Barrett who had the final say, squeezing his penalty just inside the left-hand upright to extend the All Blacks' winning streak to 10 and secure the trophy with a game to spare.

Perfect 10 for champions

New Zealand have now won 10 matches in a row for the first time since an 18-game winning streak back in October 2016.

While this was far from a vintage display, they have dominated this year's competition from the off to regain the title they won in last year's Tri-Nations format.

South Africa have now lost their past three Test matches and will be desperate to avoid a fourth next weekend against the same opponents.

Barrett holds his nerve

New Zealand's attack was riddle with mistakes – their turnovers conceded count (23) was the same as the number of defenders they beat – but Jordie Barrett stayed accurate with the boot when the pressure was on.

His decisive attempt had looked to be drifting too far left but the relief was palpable when the flags were raised.

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