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New Zealand rack up record score against South Africa in Rugby Championship
New Zealand thrashed South Africa 57-0 on Saturday at the North Harbour Stadium in Auckland to take control of the Rugby Championship. The record victory eclipsed the previous mark of 57-15 against South Africa set in Durban last year.
It was only the fifth time in the 94 Tests between the nations that the Springboks have been kept scoreless.
The denouement belied the overture. South Africa were rugged and determined in the initial exchanges and after eight minutes fly-half Elton Jantjies had the chance to open the scoring from a penalty.
But his kick hit the post. Five minutes later his All Black counterpart, Beauden Barrett, was not as wasteful. Within four minutes 3-0 became 17-0 following converted tries from Rieko Ioane and Nehe Milner-Skudder.
With forwards embroidering the defensive patterns, Scott Barrett and Brodie Retallick added further tries - both converted by Barrett - just before half-time.
Trailing 31-0 at the pause in front of more than 30,000 spectators, a pride inspired Springbok fightback was expected. But it failed to materialise. Milner-Skudder, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Lima Sopoaga and Codie Taylor all scored tries to compound the grief.
"We came in pretty clear about how we wanted to play and what we wanted to achieve and a lot of those things came off," All Black coach Steve Hansen said after the match.
"We started a bit jittery but once we got into the rhythm of the game, I thought we played probably as good as we've played for a long time."
The mauling maintained the All Blacks’ 100 per cent record in the four nation tournament after four rounds and sent them eight points clear of South Africa with only away matches against Argentina and the Springboks remaining.
"I won't say it was a horror movie,” said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee. "We played our best rugby in those first 20 minutes. Ball in hand we felt on top and we dominated collisions.
"I'm obviously very disappointed and the players are hurting. We had passages of great defence, passages of great attack but we couldn't break them. They were too good."