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

Winger 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 the right winger, Ofa Tu’ungafasi Lima Sopoaga and Codie Taylor all scored in the second half.

Despite the scoreline, the Springboks created numerous opportunities themselves 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. 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 only conceded the tries to Sopoaga in the 73rd minute and Taylor after the full-time hooter.

“If we could have scored a try or a couple of points in the first half it could have been a different thing,” 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 of this game and were beaten by a much better team.”

South Africa next face Australia in Bloemfontein on 1 October, while the All Blacks play Argentina in Buenos Aires.

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

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