New Zealand (12) 29
Tries: Sivivatu, McCaw Cons: Carter (2) Pens: Carter (5)
South Africa (22) 32
Tries: Du Preez, De Villiers Cons: M Steyn (2) Pens: F Steyn (3), M Steyn (2) Drop-goal: M Steyn
Bismarck Du Plessis celebrates a first Tri Nations triumph in five years
Morne Steyn and namesake Francois kicked 22 points in Hamilton as South Africa beat New Zealand to win the Tri-Nations for the first time since 2004.
Francois kicked three huge penalties and Morne converted Fourie du Preez's try and added two penalties and a drop-goal to secure a 22-12 half-time lead.
Jean de Villiers intercepted a Dan Carter pass to increase the lead before the All Blacks rallied impressively.
Sitiveni Sivivatu's try set up a tense finale but the Springboks held on.
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers was relieved that his side held on against the late New Zealand surge.
"At the end my heart was in my throat as we always knew the All Blacks would never give up," he said.
"It was as tough as it gets. The All Blacks aren't a walkover. To play them in their backyard, it's a great honour to come out victorious.
"We did find something in Hamilton - we have the Tri-Nations Cup."
Jean de Villiers' touchdown proved crucial for the Springboks
The win not only gave the Springboks their third Tri-Nations title, but also means they have beaten the All Blacks in three successive Tests for the first time since 1976.
New Zealand coach Graham Henry conceded the better team had won.
"They deserved to win. They played very structured rugby and played it very well," he admitted.
"We didn't play well enough for the first 60 minutes. We needed to play for longer periods of time with a lot more consistency."
For nearly three-quarters of the game South Africa were dominant across the field, forcing the All Blacks into repeated handling errors.
But they had to respond to an early setback as Carter kicked New Zealand into an early lead after South Africa transgressed in gathering the opening kick-off.
However, that only served to invigorate South Africa, and Francois Steyn stepped up to launch his kicking onslaught, landing penalties from 60 and 58 metres to put the Springboks in front and they were never to relinquish the lead.
They stretched their advantage minutes later when Bryan Habana knocked Joe Rokocoko out of the way going for a high ball and scrum-half Fourie du Preez was on hand to score.
Morne Steyn, who took the closer kicks, landed the conversion and the Springboks were firmly in command at 16-6.
Further penalties from Carter and both Steyns rounded out the first half scoring with the All Blacks losing two try-scoring opportunities when Carter and then Stephen Donald lost possession in trying to kick through.
And Carter was at fault again when his pass to Isaia Toeava was intercepted by De Villiers who raced away to score unopposed for Morne Steyn to convert for a 29-12 lead.
With the game almost out of reach, the All Blacks snapped into action and scored their first try when Toeava broke down the left flank to put Sivivatu over in the corner.
Carter added the conversion and a penalty to reduce the gap to seven points before Morne Steyn completed the Springboks' scoring with his second penalty.
Despite a late rally by the Kiwis, South Africa held on and deservedly earned the glory.
New Zealand: Muliaina, Rokocoko, Nonu, Donald, Sivivatu, Carter, Cowan, Read, McCaw (captain), Kaino, Ross, Thorn, Franks, Hore, Woodcock. Reserves: De Malmanche, Afoa, Thomson, So'oialo, Leonard, Toeava, Jane.
South Africa: F Steyn, Ngungane, Fourie, De Villiers, Habana, M Steyn, Du Preez, Spies, Burger, Brussow, Matfield, Botha, Smit (captain), B du Plessis, Mtawarira. Reserves: Ralepelle, J du Plessis, Rossouw, Kankowski, Januarie, Jacobs, Pienaar.
Referee: Nigel Owens (WAL)