Ireland will have to wait until Port Elizabeth and the third Test for their shot at history after a Springbok fight back on Saturday.
Devin Toner – who made 11 Guinness PRO12 appearances for Leinster this season, crossed for a first-half score for Ireland as they opened a 19-3 lead over South Africa at Ellis Park.
Victory in the second Test would have made them only the third team in history to win a three-Test series against South Africa after their superb win last weekend at Newlands.
And they looked like they had done enough when No.8 Jamie Heaslip barrelled over at the back of a rolling maul.
But Allister Coetzee's Springbok side fought back with late tries from Damian de Allende and Pieter Steph du Toit to seal a dramatic fightback win and set up a mouth-watering third clash.
It was less good news for Warren Gatland's Wales who lost to the All Blacks for the second weekend in a row to lose the series with a game to spare.
Scarlets duo Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies – the latter will rejoin the Guinness PRO12 side next season – both crossed but the world champions proved too strong in a 36-22 victory.
Scotland claimed a 26-13 win over Japan at Toyota City Stadium to seal victory in the first of the two Tests these two sides will play.
Edinburgh prop WP Nel crossed for a second-half score – after a penalty try in the first half – and Greig Laidlaw kicked 16 points in the victory.
All eyes are now on next weekend when Ireland eye their spot in the history books, Wales have a third chance to claim an All Black scalp and Scotland look to finish the job against Japan.
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