The Springboks delivered a stunning message ahead of the World Cup
A sensational performance from South Africa handed New Zealand their worst ever defeat just two weeks from the start of the Rugby World Cup with a 35-7 mauling at Twickenham.
The reigning World Cup winners showed it is likely to take something very special to wrestle the trophy away from their grasp on the evidence of this form.
A five star, five-try showing delighted the legions of Springbok fans and will have Scotland supporters fearing for their prospects ahead of their opening Pool B clash against South Africa in Marseille on Sunday 10 September.
Ian Foster is already departing the All Blacks after the World Cup and following this insipid display, there are likely to be some calling for an early SOS to his replacement Scott Robertson. It was that bad.
New Zealand worst ever defeat: How it happened
The All Blacks were reduced to 13 men after just 15 minutes as ill-discipline saw Scott Barrett and captain Sam Cane sent to the sin bin and Ian Foster’s side simply never recovered. Tries from Siya Kolisi and Kurt-Lee Arendse got the Boks going before Barrett was sent off after receiving his second yellow on the cusp of half-time for a dangerous clearout on Malcolm Marx.
He became the first All Black to receive two red cards in his career and could yet face further action.
Will Jordan thought he’d got New Zealand up and running but his try was chalked off and what felt like the home side, with the vast majority of the 80, 827 in attendance wearing green, went in at the break 14-0 to the good.
Malcolm Marx’s well-worked try immediately after the break ensured there was no change in momentum before a beleaguered All Blacks were met with yet more fresh faces.
Willie Le Roux’s late withdrawal put Kwagga Smith onto the bench pre-match and South Africa made history by bringing on all seven forwards at once, a rugby first, just 47 minutes into the contest.
Further tries from Bongi Mbonambi and Smith sent South Africa into dreamland and compounded a New Zealand horror show. The All Blacks’ previous record margin of defeat was 21 points (v Australia in 1999 and 2019) but that was stretched to 28 on a sobering night for those in black in London.
They did at least avoid a first nilling since 1964 after replacement scrum-half Cam Roigard’s thrilling break gave the All Blacks a consolation try late on. But if truth be told there was little consolation for a team that had just sealed the Rugby Championship trophy.
The Qatar Airways Cup, however, proved elusive.
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