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All Blacks irresistible in remarkable 57-0 drubbing of South Africa … – The Guardian

Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two of the All Blacks’ eight tries as they destroyed South Africa 57-0 at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday to post a record points margin against the Springboks.

The All Blacks were ruthless in their execution of their opportunities to post 50 points for the second successive Test against their traditional foes, with their 57-15 win last year in Durban the previous largest margin. Rieko Ioane, Milner-Skudder, Brodie Retallick and Scott Barrett all crossed in the first half to give the All Blacks a 31-0 lead at the break, before Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Lima Sopoaga and Codie Taylor scored in the second half.

Despite the scoreline, the Springboks created numerous opportunities with their running lines, interplay and kicks into space, but were unable to finish off as the All Blacks defence was superb.

“We came out here with plenty of intensity,” the All Blacks captain, Kieran Read, said. “The South Africans have been playing really well this year, I commend them on that. The scoreline probably didn’t look pretty for them …”

New Zealand were ruthless in identifying those gaps and taking their opportunities throughout the game and had sealed the win by half-time. 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.

Milner-Skudder grabbed his second try in the 53rd minute and both coaches then emptied the benches, with Tu’ungafasi scoring his first Test try 10 minutes later.

The All Blacks dominated the final 20 minutes with the Springboks defending for much of it and it was testament to their grit they conceded only the tries to Sopoaga in the 73rd minute and Taylor after the full-time hooter.

Beauden Barrett flicks a pass behind his back to set up Nehe Milner-Skudder for a stunning first-half try.



Beauden Barrett flicks a pass behind his back to set up Nehe Milner-Skudder for a stunning first-half try. Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

“If we could have scored a try or a couple of points in the first half it could have been a different thing,” the Springboks coach, Allister Coetzee, said. “But they were just too good for us.”

It was the biggest defeat in South Africa’s history, eclipsing the 53-3 loss against England at Twickenham in 2002.

The former South Africa captain Jean de Villiers said the team had hit a new low. “We all thought last year losing to New Zealand by 42 points was a low point and we didn’t think it could get worse. It did today,” he said. “It is very difficult to find something positive to say about this game. We need to be honest with ourselves, we got outplayed in every single department and were beaten by a much better team.”

In Canberra, Australia scored five second-half tries to rally to their first victory of this year’s championship with a 45-20 win over Argentina. Israel Folau scored tries either side of half-time and Sekope Kepu, Will Genia, Nick Phipps and Jordan Uelese also crossed to secure a bonus point victory. Bernard Foley converted all six tries and kicked a penalty to help the Wallabies back to winning ways after they lost twice to the All Blacks and drew with the Springboks in their first three matches of the competition.

Argentina led 13-10 at half-time after bullying their hosts in the back-row contest but a first-half try from Martin Landajo and a brilliant late effort from Matías Moroni were not enough for a first win in Australia since 1983.

Australia next face South Africa in Bloemfontein on 1 October, while the All Blacks travel to Buenos Aires. Reuters

All Blacks irresistible in remarkable 57-0 drubbing of South Africa … – The Guardian

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