16 Sep 2017

All Blacks crush Boks by record 57-0 margin

11:47 pm on 16 September 2017

The All Blacks are firmly back on top of the Rugby Championship table after emphatically dispatching the Springboks at North Harbour Stadium in Albany.

All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder

All Black wing Nehe Milner-Skudder Photo: Photosport

The Springboks have not beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand for eight years and they showed little prospect of changing that statistic as they were overwhelmed by the All Blacks 57-0 in a seven-try-to-none demolition at North Harbour Stadium tonight.

The young Springboks team initially ran and scrumed strongly in the early exchanges but the All Blacks quickly seized on lineout and passing errors with a first half masterclass in counterattacking rugby and ruthless finishing.

Reiko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Scott Barrett and Brodie Retaliack all crossed the Springbok line in the first 35 minutes.

All Black first five Beauden Barrett

All Black first five Beauden Barrett Photo: Photosport

First five Beauden Barrett had a vintage first 40 minutes, converting four tries and a penalty and featuring in a magical behind-the-back pass to send Milner Skudder over for his first try.

The Springboks often proved architects of their own misfortune in a performance riddled with poor lineouts, missed tackles and dropped passes.

All Black hooker Dane Coles on the charge

All Black hooker Dane Coles on the charge Photo: Photosport

After a slow start in the second half, continued pressure saw Milner-Skudder, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Lima Sopaga and Cody Taylor all cross to pour the pain on the Springboks.

It is the second time in a year the All Blacks have put 57 points on the Springboks, coming on back of their 57-15 win in Durban in October.

"The Boks really threw everything at us," All Blacks captain Kieran Read told reporters. "It was an intense test match. I don't really know how we were up by so many points."

The All Blacks had been criticised for their inability to exploit space throughout the season, particularly against the defensive linespeed the British and Irish Lions employed earlier this year in their drawn series.

On Saturday, they were ruthless in identifying space and taking their opportunities throughout the game.

"We are very proud of it," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said. "The boys had a good week. We are trying to get better all the time and have been trying to work on a lot of things.

"We were pretty clear with how we wanted to play and a lot of things came off."

The loss is the Springboks first for the year.

"I'm very disappointed and the players are hurting," Springboks coach Allister Coetzee said.

"We had a good plan and great preparation and the first 20 minutes, we played our best rugby. We felt we were on top and dominated collisions and one pass goes astray and you're under the poles."

In their last two tests at North Harbour Stadium the All Blacks have scored 148 points and conceded none.

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