Auckland - The All Blacks took the outright lead in the Rugby Championship here on Saturday
when they comprehensively beat South Africa 29-15 in a bitter contest between
the heavyweights of world rugby.
As it happened: All Blacks v Boks
How Sport24 chief writer Rob Houwing rated the Boks
In a match marred by a red card for Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis,
the All Blacks also picked up a bonus point with their overwhelming victory
over the previously unbeaten South Africans.
The All Blacks finished with only 13-men with two yellow cards in the final
10 minutes when captain Kieran Read was dismissed for a lineout foul and Ma'a
Nonu was sent from the field for a dangerous shoulder charge.
The Springboks came to New Zealand confident they could shatter their Eden
Park hoodoo, where they have not won since 1937.
Instead they were outplayed by pace on attack and the staunch defence by the
All Blacks who scored four tries to the visitors' two.
The intensely physical battle erupted into an all-in brawl in the 15th
minute when All Black playmaker Dan Carter was bowled in a tackle by Du
It took referee Romain Poite a full minute to restore order, and when the
dust settled the injured Carter was out of the game and Du Plessis harshly received
10 minutes in the sin-bin.
Du Plessis received his second yellow, and subsequent red card, in the first
minute of the second half when he elbowed All Blacks flanker Liam Messam in the
In between the All Blacks lost fullback Israel Dagg with an ankle injury and
Sam Cane spent 20 minutes receiving medical treatment when he left the field in
the first half with blood pouring from a head wound.
When Carter went down the All Blacks led 7-3 and by the time Du Plessis
returned to the field they were 14-3 ahead and on their way to extending their
unbeaten run at Eden Park to 32 (31 wins, one draw) dating back to 1994.
The All Blacks also overtook France for the most Test wins, moving to 383,
and also extended their records for the most test points (13 242) and most Test
tries (1 726).
The All Blacks kicked off with the breeze behind them and punished South
Africa early when Nonu latched on to a misdirected Bryan Habana clearing kick.
The All Black centre's return kick forced a lineout in the corner from where
Read drove over for his first try.
Morné Steyn landed a penalty for the Springboks before the punch up, then
when the All Blacks had a one-man advantage they struck again with their second
Replacement flyhalf Beauden Barrett carved through the Springboks backline
on a 55m run and lock Brodie Retallick finished off the move when he crashed
over under the posts.
Du Plessis returned to the field to briefly restore his place in the South
African good books when he scored from a lineout drive.
Steyn kicked the conversion and Barrett landed a penalty for the All Blacks
who took a 17-10 lead into the break.
The second half had barely started when Du Plessis was sent from the field
and when the All Blacks went a player up they immediately struck again.
Read crossed for his second try when he stormed through an attempted tackle
by Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck's brother, and Barrett's conversion lifted the
All Blacks to 24-10.
Cane scored the bonus point try in the 67th minute before South Africa came
back with a late try to replacement back Patrick Lambie.
Tries: Kieran Read (2), Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane
Conversions: Daniel Carter, Beauden Barrett (2)
Tries: Bismarck du Plessis, Pat Lambie
Conversion: Morné Steyn
15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock
Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss , 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein
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