The All Blacks suffered its third successive loss after going down to hosts South Africa 26-10 this morning in the Rugby Championship opener.
New Zealand flew to South Africa having lost four of their previous five matches amid calls for coach Ian Foster and captain Sam Cane to be sacked.
Foster and Cane will now know that another defeat to the Springboks next Sunday in Johannesburg will almost certainly spell the end for both of them.
The world champions constantly unsettled the All Blacks, who were lucky to trail only 10-3 at half-time having been outplayed in the opening 40 minutes.
Winger Kurt-Lee Arendse who was on debut scored a try for South Africa but was red-carded in the 75th minute after fouling airborne fly-half, Beauden Barrett.
Willie Le Roux crossed for the Springboks second try in the last minute while Handre Pollard converted three penalties, one field goal, and two conversions.
New Zealand did win more possession in the second half but basic errors cost them and their only try, from replacement loose forward Shannon Frizell, arrived when South Africa was reduced to 14 men.