New Zealand cruised to a perfect Rugby Championship clean sweep with six wins and six bonus-point victories as they bossed South Africa 57-15 on their own turf at Kings Park.
This latest win puts the All Blacks on par with their own record of 17 straight Test wins. The result marked the Springboks’ heaviest home defeat and the fourth time in a row that New Zealand have come out on top against South Africa.
The game was about as one-sided as you’ll ever see at Test level, with an exceptionally dazzling second-half from the All Blacks, scoring 45 points and conceding just six.
As the scoreline suggests, this was a game to forget for South Africa, who spent more than 70 per cent of the time in their own half and struggled to keep the ball, finishing up with just 31 per cent possession. Matters weren’t helped by the fact that they missed 33 of their 118 attempted tackles.
The Boks began brightly, playing with plenty of energy and drive that resulted in two penalties from Morné Steyn. South Africa would have been a lot worse off if it wasn’t for the flyhalf who kept them in the game, going in at the break trailing 12-9.
That’s not to say New Zealand dominated from the off. Indeed, the All Blacks made some uncharacteristic gaffs in the first 20 minutes with many handling errors and bungled offloads.
When the All Blacks were going forward though, they were relentless and strained the Bok defence with little mercy. New Zealand covered four times as much ground as South Africa, running 758 meters to the Boks’ 174.
This led to nine tries from the All Blacks, with Israel Dagg, TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett getting two each. Codie Taylor, Ben Smith and Liam Squire also got their names on the score sheet while three conversions from both Barrett and Lima Sopoaga completed the All Blacks points tally.
The rout places serious doubt over Chean Roux’s future as defence coach and many fans are calling for head coach Allister Coetzee to go.
Time will tell if England walk over South Africa with as much ease when they play at Twickenham on Saturday 12th November.
Wooden spoon for wallabies
Meanwhile, Australia claimed second in the championship with a 33-21 victory over Argentina.
The wallabies secured the wooden spoon, thanks to two tries from Samu Kerevi as well as Adam Coleman and Dean Mumm, while the boot of Bernard Foley saw two conversions and three penalties.
The pumas probably felt as if the gods were against them after seeing a try chalked off due to offside against Santiago González Iglesias, while Coleman’s effort was given even though it appeared that Dane Haylett-Petty had lost the ball in an earlier phase.
This misfortune was compounded by missed penalties from Iglesias early on and two yellow cards for Australia, following high tackles from Coleman and Michael Hooper in the opening half-hour.
Hospitality packages are already available for when England host both Argentina and Australia as part of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham on Saturday 26th November and Saturday 3rd December respectively.
By Keith Prowse