All Blacks onslaught overwhelms Springboks in Rugby Championship Test at Albany

  • 16/09/2017

The All Blacks were back to their ruthless best against in Albany on Saturday night, destroying South Africa 57-0 in their first Rugby Championship encounter of 2017.

The victory is a record winning margin for any New Zealand side over the Springboks, eclipsing their 57-15 effort in Durban last year.

The men in black bolted to a 31-0 lead at halftime on the back of some Beauden Barrett trickery and devastating Rieko Ioane running and never relented, with the visitors looking a level or two below all evening.

When all was said and done it was New Zealand with eight tries, the cleanest of try-lines, and a bonus point in the bag, while South Africa will be searching for answers after a limp, one-dimensional display and a disasterous set piece.

With four wins from four, the All Blacks are now in pole position to retain the Rugby Championship, with trips to Buenos Aires and Cape Town to come.

Beauden Barrett was in vintage form for the All Blacks.
Beauden Barrett was in vintage form for the All Blacks. Photo credit: Getty

The Springboks, meanwhile, will lick their wounds after falling to their first Test defeat of 2017.

Stacking the breakdown early and denying the All Blacks time and space to run free, the burly South Africans appeared keen to start a war of attrition.

But their tactics didn't work for long, as the All Blacks shook off a slow start to spectacularly score twice within the space of four minutes.

Ahead 3-0 in the 17th minute, Smith took a quick-tap penalty and dinked a cute left-footed kick into the corner, where Ioane burned off his opposite to score.

Four minutes later, it was Barrett's turn to impress.

Winger Milner-Skudder pinched an intercept on the right edge, before playing a clever one-two with his first-five to score the All Blacks' second, suddenly putting the wind in their sails.

Further tries to Scott Barrett and Retallick - the latter a length-of-the-field effort - ensued, taking the All Blacks into the break 31-0 ahead, before second-half efforts to Tu'ungafasi, Milner-Skudder, Taylor and Lienert-Brown.