Fly-half Morne Steyn, making his first Test start in two years, scored all the hosts’ points in Pretoria, kicking four penalties and two drop-goals Australia’s Scott Sio scored the only try as the W allabies failed to capitalise on a 10-3 half-time lead. New Zealand, who have already won the competition beat Argentina 36-17 in Buenos Aires.
South Africa’s win means they move above Australia into second place before the final round of fixtures. “Morne justified his inclusion,” said South Africa coach Allister Coetzee. “He showed he is still a Test match player. He remains proud to play for the Springboks and that showed. “I am a very happy man and will never underestimate any Test win. For a team that had their backs to the wall, a win like this means a lot and is a definite confidence-booster.
The All Blacks have won 14 of the 21 Rugby Championships since the competition’s inception in 1996. World champions New Zealand made four changes to their starting line-up against Argentina but were still too strong. They are now just one game away from matching the record of successive wins by top-tier nations – held by themselves and South Africa.
Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Dane Coles, TJ Perenara and Ben Smith crossed for the visitors, who led 29-3 at half-time. Beauden Barrett converted four of the tries. Facundo Isa and Joaquin Tuculet got Argentina’s tries in the last 22 minutes of the game as the visitors’ Joe Moody and Liam Squire were shown yellow cards. The All Blacks will set a world record of 18 consecutive victories this month with wins over South Africa in Durban and Australia in Auckland.