The All Blacks gave the Springboks the mother of all hidings as they crushed the visitors 57-0 in what was their biggest win against the Boks in their history‚ and South Africa’s worst defeat in their 111-year history.
New Zealand’s intensity never let up as they added 26 points to their 31-0 half-time buffer‚ scoring eight tries. It was the fourth time the All Blacks put a half-century against the Springboks‚ but never before in manner this clinical and decisive.
The Boks have now conceded 155 points in three matches against the All Blacks since last year and shipped in 23 tries in the process.
The All Blacks have been under pressure because of their “substandard performances” this season and this result was the perfect response.
It was the second time the All Blacks blanked South Africa but the manner in which they collected their biggest win against the Springboks was mind-blowing. They let the Boks do all the running and capitalised on their mistakes.
It was the Springboks’ first defeat of the year and while it was inevitable considering their terrible history in New Zealand‚ they were their own worst enemies.
The defeat was a sobering reminder of how an adherence to basics is the first pillar to compete with the All Blacks‚ let alone beating them.
SA’s lineout failed them along with their first-time tackling‚ weaknesses the All Blacks smile a mile off‚ and are expert at exploiting.
The Bok scrum held up well until Tendai Mtawarira was taken off and Elton Jantjies finally rocked up for a big game but those were probably the only positives the Boks could glean from the disappointing performance.
It wasn’t diabolical as compared to 2016’s cloutings in Christchurch and Durban but the Springboks and the All Blacks are on different rugby planets.
Nigel Owens’s officiating was competent but failed to pick up the All Blacks’ offside line speed and their blocking at the breakdown and fringes.
The All Blacks ran in four tries of the highest quality as they exploited the Springboks’ mistakes. For all the effort the Boks put in to dominate territory and possession‚ they had nothing to show for it.
It became clear it was going to be a long first 40 for the Boks when Elton Jantjies missed a simple seventh-minute penalty.
While the Boks had the upper hand at the scrum‚ New Zealand’s superb field positioning didn’t allow them to have penalties in kickable areas.
Once Beauden Barrett converted a 14th-minute penalty‚ the All Blacks pried and kicked down the Bok defensive door with two converted tries in four minutes that ended the game as a contest.
Rieko Ioane crossed in the left corner in the 18th minute after crack All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith put in a deft chip-kick behind the Bok defensive line.
Right wing Nehe Milner-Skudder provided the body blow try four minutes later when he intercepted Jean-luc du Preez’s pass deep in their half and provided superb interplay with Barrett to avoid the attentions of the desperate Courtnall Skosan.
It was clear the difference in the teams lay in the gulf in class in the half-backs‚ some nauseating dirty All Black play at the breakdown‚ lineout efficiency and tackling.
All of these facets played themselves out in the second quarter as the All Blacks increased their lead from 17-0 to 31-0.
Reserve utility forward Scott Barrett was the recipient of Milner-Skudder’s superb work from a Beauden Barrett cross-kick to score in the 34th minute.
Brodie Retallick added the fourth three minutes later as a bad missed tackle by Raymond Rhule gave the All Blacks the necessary space to exploit the fractured Bok defence.
Smith’s class was apparent in all the tries as his slick service and eye for the gap gave the All Blacks an auxiliary player.
This while the Boks fell short of some embarrassingly easy tackles. Raymond Rhule had a forgettable defensive night with six missed tackles in the first half alone.
Malcolm Marx’s lineout throwing was abysmal and explained why the Boks had no go-forward from the lineout.
The set-pieces deteriorated further in the second half as Milner-Skudder added his second try in the 53rd minute.
The 64th and 80th minute tries by Ofa Tu’ungafasi and Codie Taylor underlined the All Blacks’ dominance.
Lima Sopoaga’s 75th-minute try‚ which witnessed scrumhalf TJ Perenara running over the hapless Handre Pollard‚ probably summed up the Boks’ miserable night.
Tries: Rieko Ioane‚ Nehe Milner-Skudder (2‚ Scott Barrett‚ Brodie Retallick‚ Ofa Tu’ungafasi‚ Lima Sopoaga‚ Codie Taylor
Conversions: Beauden Barrett (7)
Penalty: Barrett (1)
New Zealand: 15 Damian McKenzie‚ 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder‚ 13 Ryan Crotty‚ 12 Sonny Bill Williams‚ 11 Rieko Ioane‚ 10 Beauden Barrett‚ 9 Aaron Smith; 8 Kieran Read (c)‚ 7 Sam Cane‚ 6 Liam Squire‚ 5 Sam Whitelock‚ 4 Brodie Retallick‚ 3 Nepo Laulala‚ 2 Dane Coles‚ 1 Kane Hames. Reserves: 16 Codie Taylor‚ 17 Wyatt Crockett‚ 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi‚ 19 Scott Barrett‚ 20 Ardie Savea‚ 21 TJ Perenara‚ 22 Lima Sopoaga‚ 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee‚ 14 Raymond Rhule‚ 13 Jesse Kriel‚ 12 Jan Serfontein‚ 11 Courtnall Skosan‚ 10 Elton Jantjies‚ 9 Francois Hougaard‚ 8 Uzair Cassiem‚ 7 Jean-luc du Preez‚ 6 Siya Kolisi‚ 5 Franco Mostert‚ 4 Eben Etzebeth ©‚ 3 Ruan Dreyer‚ 2 Malcolm Marx‚ 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Reserves: 16 Bongi Mbonambi‚ 17 Steven Kitshoff‚ 18 Trevor Nyakane‚ 19 Lood de Jager‚ 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit 21 Rudy Paige‚ 22 Handre Pollard‚ 23 Damian de Allende.
Match official: Nigel Owens (Wales)
First Assistant: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Second Assistant: Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)
By: Khanyiso Tshwaku In Albany‚ Auckland
Source: TMG Digital.