New Zealand’s All Blacks have equalled the record of winning 17 consecutive matches with a 15-57 victory over South Africa’s Springboks in the Rugby Championship in Durban.
The All Blacks outscored the Springboks by nine tries to none which surpasses the six tries to one 41-13 victory in Christchurch in their last meeting.
The result is South Africa’s biggest ever losing margin on South African soil.
The victory is the All Blacks sixth in the Rugby Championship with a bonus point making them the only team to have won a bonus point in all of their matches in a single campaign.
South Africa opened the scoring with a penalty from Morne Steyn in the fourth minute before Beauden Barrett missed his first penalty kick at the posts.
The All Blacks looked dangerous with ball in hand every time they attacked the Bok backline who by half time had missed 16 tackles while the All Blacks had missed none.
Israel Dagg scored the opening try of the match in the 20th minute and twelve minutes later TJ Perenara crossed for their second.
The All Blacks had a try denied by the TMO on the stroke of half time but still went in for the break leading 9-12.
By the end of the match South Africa has missed 33 tackles and New Zealand had missed 2. The All Blacks dominated territory (76%) and possession (69%) in a one sided contest that South Africa never looked like they would score a try.
As South Africa failed to cross the whitewash against Australia last week as well they have failed to score a try at home in over 160 minutes.
The final result was never in doubt from the time All Blacks rightwing Israel Dagg crossed for the first of six tries which went answered after 80 minutes of play. Had flyhalf Beauden Barrett had his kicking boots on the All Blacks’ victory margin would have been far greater.
The Boks showed improvement in some aspects of their play, but on the day they were outclassed and the fact that they failed to cross the whitewash reflected the All Blacks’ vice-like grip on the match.
French referee Jérôme Garcès penalised the All Blacks for a breakdown infringement in the third minute and Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, kicking into a breeze, goaled from the halfway line (3-0).
Three minutes later, Steyn’s opposite number Beauden Barrett had a chance to respond but his effort was fractionally wide.
Bok inside centre Juan de Jongh had the crowd on the edge of their seats soon afterwards when he snatched a no-look back pass by the All Blacks but his kick ahead was cleaned up some five metres from the All Blacks tryline.
Bok flanker Francois Louw left the field with a leg injury and he was replaced by Jaco Kriel, but the team’s scoreboard fortunes went one better soon afterwards when Steyn was on target with a second penalty (6-0).
Out wide, on both sides of the field, the All Blacks looked dangerous as the Boks defence battled to contain the upfield surges but there was always a hint that the breakthrough would come sooner than later. It came midway through the first half when rightwing Israel Dagg ran in untouched. Barrett fluffed the conversion as it hit the upright (6-5).
More good fortune followed for the Boks when the All Blacks were blown up for a deliberate knockdown and Steyn punished the indiscretion by adding three more points to the tally for a four-point lead in the 26th minute (9-5).
The lead was short-lived, however, as the All Blacks produced a wave of attacks which the Boks met with all-out commitment on defence but that was not enough to prevent a second try after scrumhalf TJ Perenara wormed his way through a maze of players. Barrett was on target this time and the visitors opened a 12-9 lead.
The pressure persisted in the ensuing play and right on halftime the Boks only just managed to keep the All Blacks at bay.
When play resumed it was more of the same and a mere four minutes into the second half, Dagg went over when the Boks were unable to offer protection out wide. Barrett was again wide with the conversion attempt (17-9).
Steyn kept the Boks in touch with the game when he reduced the deficit with a fourth penalty (17-12).
Again the All Blacks bounced back, but this time they managed to turn defence into attack after Patrick Lmabie’s clearance kick was charged down in the 54th minute. Barrett out-sprinted the retreating defence and secured the touchline for yet another unconverted try (22-`12).
That try essentially turned out to be the game changer, as the Boks looked too dead and buried trying to stem the waves of attacks.
Steyn struck a fifth penalty but that was greeted with another Perenara try and this time Barrett goaled on the hour mark (29-15).
In the final 10 minutes the All Blacks threatened to run out a 50-point account as first Barrett and then substitute hooker Codie Taylor scored and both efforts were converted for a 43-15 lead.
Four minutes from the end, the 50 point mark was realised when fullback Ben Smith scored the final try of the match and Lima Sopoaga landed his second conversion to bring up the half century (50-15).
And when everyone thought the demolition was complete, substitute Liam Squire grabbed the ninth try and Sopoaga goaled splendidly from touch for an eventual 57-15 scoreline.
The All Blacks next match is in Auckland against Australia in the final Bledisloe Cup clash which is not part of the Rugby Championship. South Africa’s next match is against a Barbarian side at Wembley Stadium in London on November 5.
Final Score South Africa 15 (9) New Zealand 57 (12)
Pen – M.Steyn 5
Cards – L. de Jager (72nd min yellow)
Tries – I.Dagg 2, TJ Perenara 2, B.Barrett 2, C.Taylor, B.Smith, LSquire
Con – B.Barrett 2, L.Sopoaga 3
Cards – C.Taylor (80th min yellow)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Ref 1:Johnny Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Ref 2:George Clancy (Ireland)
TMO : Jim Yuille (Scotland)
15. Pat Lambie , 14. Francois Hougaard , 13. Juan de Jongh , 12. Damian de Allende , 11. Bryan Habana (vc) , 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Faf de Klerk , 8. Warren Whiteley , 7. Oupa Mohoje, 6. Francois Louw , 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Adriaan Strauss (c), 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Bongi Mbonambi, 17. Steven Kitshoff, 18. Julian Redelinghuys , 19. Lood de Jager, 20. Willem Alberts , 21. Jaco Kriel, 22. Lionel Mapoe , 23. Willie le Roux ,
1. Joe Moody, 2. Dane Coles , 3. Owen Franks , 4. Brodie Retallick , 5. Samuel Whitelock , 6. Jerome Kaino, 7. Matt Todd , 8. Kieran Read (c), 9. TJ Perenara , 10. Beauden Barrett , 11. Waisake Naholo , 12. Ryan Crotty , 13. Anton Lienert-Brown , 14. Israel Dagg , 15. Ben Smith
Replacements: 16. Codie Taylor , 17. Wyatt Crockett , 18. Charlie Faumuina , 19. Liam Squire, 20. Ardie Savea , 21. Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22. Lima Sopoaga, 23. George Moala