Springboks halfback Faf de Klerk has unveiled a key reason as to how his side beat the All Blacks - and how they plan on doing it again at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

South Africa's 36-34 victory over the All Blacks at the Cake Tin in September was the All Blacks' first loss at home since 2009, and de Klerk was a major factor in delivering the shock win.

The 27-year-old put rival halfback Aaron Smith under pressure throughout the game, disrupting the All Blacks attack - something he said was crucial to the victory.

"People know how good Smith is and what he brings to the team, but as a nine playing in that team, you are so comfortable. You're never under pressure and you're always getting front-foot ball," De Klerk told the Daily Mail.


"I started doing it at Sale, where I'd see other nines who seemed to have a lot of time and I realised that I really needed to put them under pressure. We started that here. We put teams under a lot of pressure and won a lot of turnovers from it.

"With South Africa, we picked up that Smith was a bit too comfortable behind the rucks, so we got in their faces and I tried to get in his face. I knew they just expected him to be at every ruck, to deliver quick ball, so I had to hit him and keep him on the ground a second longer."

It worked a treat as the Springboks turned around a rough run of form with a famous victory, and now de Klerk is eyeing up the World Cup, where the Springboks now have full belief that they can topple the defending champions once again when they meet in the opening pool game.

"That first game is going to be amazing," said De Klerk.

"We can turn everything on its head and surprise a lot of people. One of [coach] Rassie [Erasmus]'s main points was that if we can beat New Zealand away, our chances of winning the World Cup will go up so much more.

"We've done that, so we know we can beat them in that pool game on neutral ground."

Erasmus agrees that the Springboks now have a legitimate chance of earning a top result at the World Cup.

"We've shown on the day when everything's aligned and the guys are all in the same frame of mind, we can beat the All Blacks away and win a series against England," said Erasmus.


"It's wide open," he said of the World Cup. "I've been involved in World Cups since 1995, but really this one I couldn't put money on who's going to be in the semifinals."