Brilliant Boks secure their greatest ever victory over All Blacks

Brilliant Boks secure their greatest ever victory over All Blacks

The Springboks sounded a major warning to their World Cup rivals in France with an emphatic 35-7 victory over the All Blacks in front of a jam-packed Twickenham Stadium.

The 28-point margin of victory is the largest ever for South Africa over New Zealand in the long history between these two sides, beating the previous record of 17-0 secured on home soil back in 1928 by 11 points.

It's rare to see an All-Black side so thoroughly outplayed, but most of the match was indeed one-way traffic, such was the South Africans' dominance on the night.

The stunning scoreline is all the more notable when you consider how many opportunities to score the Boks let slip on the night. The reality is this could easily have been an even bigger win for the men in green and gold, who simply smothered the All Blacks with their relentless rush defence and set-piece dominance.

It was pressure that sunk the All Blacks as much as anything else, neutralising their attack and constantly putting them on the back foot, causing them to make way too many unforced errors and give away far too many penalties.

When an early penalty at scrum time went the Boks' way, it set up a kick for touch and the first of many assaults on the All Blacks line to come. A try looked on, but Faf de Klerk overcooked his attempted grubber kick and the New Zealanders escaped - one of many such escapes to follow on the day.

Back came the Boks thanks to another penalty advantage, but this time Eben Etzebeth was held up over the line.

Another penalty advantage followed to the Boks for the All Blacks bringing down the maul, and again they kicked for the corner. This time they took it out wide where Makazole Mapimpi was driven into touch.

Back came the Boks one more time setting up the rolling maul, but it was a case of one wasted opportunity too many, as the All Blacks held up the attempted drive and turned over possession - a big moral victory after such a lengthy period camped on their own try-line.

It wasn't long before the Boks were back on the attack, however, with a clever little kick-through from Damian Willemse forcing some desperate defence from the All Blacks on their own line, ending with a knock-on behind their try-line and a five-metre scrum to the Boks.

Again South Africa couldn't quite produce the final pass to break the New Zealand defence, however, with a knock-on from De Klerk at the base of the ruck allowing the All Blacks to escape unscathed once more.

Mo'unga finally got a kick away to release some of the relentless pressure, but it wasn't long before another All Black infringement finally saw referee Matthew Carly lose his patience and send Scott Barrett to the bin.

Libbok set up another touch-finder in the ABs danger zone as the Boks gave it another go. Again the All Blacks infringed after the line-out, resulting in another yellow card - this time to skipper Sam Cane - reducing the New Zealanders to just 13 men.

Surely the Boks had to find a way through this time, but again they couldn't ground the ball over the line, with Malcolm Marx getting held up on this occasion, allowing the ABs to escape once more via a goal-line drop-out.

The relentless pressure continued as New Zealand gave away another penalty in the middle of the park. Libbok set up yet another line-out near the All Blacks try-line, and this time the Boks finally got the try they deserved, captain Siya Kolisi bashing his way from close range. Libbok added the extras as South Africa took a 7-0 lead that probably should have come a lot sooner.

As the Boks have a tendency to do, however, they conceded a penalty straight from the kick-off to give Mo'unga an opportunity to get the All Blacks on the board on their first trip to the Boks' 22, but somehow the fly-half conspired to miss the kick from right in front of the posts.

The All Blacks were still down to 13 men, and when Andre Esterhuizen broke clean through the midfield, there were more danger signs for the men in black, although Libbok's attempted crossfield kick didn't have the distance or the accuracy required.

When the ABs won a penalty advantage at the maul, they had a chance to put the Boks under some real pressure, but just as their backline starting to show some signs of life, Canan Moodie pulled off a superb intercept to halt their advance, and then produced a superb offload to Willemse as he turned defence into attack in the blink of an eye.

The Boks were very nearly in again in the corner after some great hands in the backline created the space out wide, but Mapimpi's execution was again found a bit wanting.

After so many failed attempts at scoring a try via more conventional means, a five-pointer finally came via - of all things - an All Blacks possession, the Boks' smothering defence doing the trick as an attempted offload from Jordie Barrett succeeded only in finding Kurt-Lee Arendse before the speedster shed any chasers in quick-time and zipped over the line for the Boks' second try of the evening.

New Zealand were given another chance go on the attack when the Boks were pinged for not rolling away, however, and this time they kept the ball in hand through several phases, looking increasingly dangerous. But when the TMO spotted a high shot on Malcolm Marx from Scott Barrett, who had already been sent off the field for a yellow card, the referee was left no choice but to brandish a second yellow, resulting in a red card to Barrett and reducing the All Blacks to 14 men for the remainder of the match.

But with time running out in the first half, the All Blacks were handed a penalty advantage, and despite being under the gun for virtually the entire first 40 minutes, they conjured up some of their trademark magic via their silky footwork and running skills, keeping the ball alive until the Boks finally ran out of defenders, allowing skipper Cane to crash over.

Unfortunately for the All Blacks, however, the try was chalked off when the TMO spotted a knock-on in the build-up. A penalty advantage meant they could still kick for the corner, but the Boks came up trumps with a line-out steal just when they needed it most to leave the All Blacks scoreless at the half.

The second half couldn't have started in better fashion for the Boks, as their rush defence caused Bauden Barret to miscue his kick and put the men in green and gold right on the attack. Having struggled mightily to get over the line in the first half, a textbook move down the blindside between Kolisi and Marx saw the hooker go over unopposed for the simplest of tries. Libbok nailed the kick from out wide as the Springboks took an incredible 21-point lead.

Then came a moment of magic from Moodie as the All Blacks mishandled the ball behind their own ruck, allowing the centre to snap up the ball and step two All Blacks, first outside and then in, for a superb solo try. Unfortunately for the young gun, a TMO check spotted a technical infringement in the build-up and the try was chalked off.

Then came an unfortunate moment for Pieter-Steph du Toit, as his arm made contact with Cane's head in the tackle. Du Toit was trying to wrap around the New Zealand skipper as he dropped into the contact, but the referee saw enough to dish out a yellow card. Thankfully, a subsequent review cleared the flanker of any further sanction.

Despite the Boks being down to 14 men now as well, they continued to turn the screws on the pitch, helped in part by more uncharacteristic errors from the men in black.

When Libbok sent a pinpoint kick into the corner following another penalty advantage, there was no stopping the Springbok maul as the entire pack powered over the line for the Boks' fourth try of the evening.

Try number five arrived with 13 minutes to play. It was another kick for the corner, but while the All Blacks were expecting another rolling maul, the ball was shifted to Kwagga Smith, who burst through the defence for the score.

The All Blacks are never quite down and out, however, and with nine minutes to play, substitute Cam Roigard managed to break through the defence and score a superb solo try in his debut against the men in green and gold, although the South African defence let him through far too easily.

That seemed to light a bit of a fire under the All Blacks, who enjoyed a rare spell of possession as the Boks' intensity finally seemed to drop a little bit.

A counter-attack from the Boks nearly resulted in a sixth try for the men in green and gold, however, but Arendse couldn't quite find Willemse after the duo broke free from inside their own 22.

With time running out, it was the All Blacks who threatened to have the final say, but they couldn't make their final assault on the line as it finished 35-7 to the Boks, their biggest-ever win over their great rivals.

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