Auckland, September 18, 2017
It was an easy task for All Blacks to bring down the Springboks at the Championship match held at QBE Stadium in North Harbour on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
The All Blacks were magical in the first 40 minutes as the scored 31 points to nil.
Reiko Ioane and Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two try’s each for All Blacks’ eight tries feast as they destroyed Springboks 57-0 at QBE Stadium on Saturday to post a highest points margin against the Springboks.
The All Blacks were at their absolute best in their execution to post 57 points for the second successive Test against their traditional rivals, with their 57-15 win last year in Durban the previous largest margin.
The Springboks created numerous opportunities with their running lines, interplay and kicks into space, but were unable to crack the All Blacks defense which was at its best apart from early nerves from Damian.
All Blacks Captain Kieran Read said. “We came out here with plenty of intensity. The South Africans have been playing really well this year and I commend them. It was a stellar night as the New Zealanders were very ruthless in identifying those gaps and taking their opportunities throughout the game. They scored three long-range tries with Ioane, Milner-Skudder and Retallick all crossing after the world champions found space behind the defensive line.”
The replacement Scott Barrett also crossed after his older brother Beauden cross-kicked for Dane Coles to knock the ball down to the 23-year-old, who was on the field as Liam Squire underwent a head injury assessment.
After Milner-Skudder’s second try in the 53rd minute; both coaches then emptied their benches by running through multiple changes, with Tu’ungafasi scoring his first Test try 10 minutes later.
The All Blacks dominated the final quarter with the Springboks defending for much of it and it was evidence to their grit they conceded only the tries to Sopoaga in the 73rd minute and Taylor after the full-time siren has sounded.
Fifth straight victory
It was also the New Zealanders’ fifth straight victory over the South Africans, their eighth on the bounce at home and their 10th in the last 11 matchups. It puts them in a near irrefutable position in the Rugby Championship, with their fourth straight victory taking them to 19 points, with the second-placed Springboks stuck on 11. They can inscribe the trophy now.
It was the biggest defeat in South Africa’s history, eclipsing the 53-3 loss against England at Twickenham in 2002.
At the end skipper Kieran Read, himself on top of his game, admitted the nil conceded was as satisfying as the 57 scored.
“The Boks threw everything at us in that first half, and it was a pretty intense half. I don’t know how we were up by so many points. We probably got four opportunities and took all four of them. Our defence stayed strong and to not let them in over the second half was a credit to that.”
A final thought: how deliciously good was it to have a test controlled so expertly and efficiently, without a hint of controversy, by Nigel Owens who confirmed his status as the best referee in the business.
All Blacks 57 (Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder 2, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Lima Sopoaga, Codie Taylor tries; Beauden Barrett pen, 7 cons), South Africa 0. Ht: 31-0.
Sheevas Dayal is our Rugby Correspondent.
Brodie Retallick during the Rugby Championship match between the All Blacks and the Springboks at QBE Stadium. Photo: Getty Images