South Africa send New Zealand crashing to record defeatFri, 25 Aug 2023 22:25:10 GMT

Reigning champions South Africa completed their World Cup preparations with a record 35-7 rout of 14-man New Zealand as the All Blacks suffered their all-time heaviest margin of defeat on Friday.The Springboks scored five tries, through captain Siya Kolisi, wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, hooker Malcolm Marx and replacements Bongi Mbonambi and Kwagga Smith — all converted by fly-half Manie Libbok — in a stunning display at Twickenham.New Zealand’s defeat topped the 21-point losses they suffered when going down 28-7 to Australia in 1999 and 47-26, also to the Wallabies, in 2019. This result saw South Africa surpass their previous winning margin against arch-rivals New Zealand achieved in a 17-0 success at Durban back in 1928.New Zealand’s fate was all but sealed by having to play just over half the warm-up match a man down after Scott Barrett was sent off shortly before the break for a second yellow card, the lock flying into a ruck and clattering Marx in the head.The Springbok pack were in dominant form in what was the first match between the arch-rivals at Twickenham since the All Blacks won 20-18 in a 2015 World Cup semi-final before lifting the Webb Ellis Trophy.”It was a very good start for us, a great performance by the team,” said South Africa full-back Damian Willemse, Friday’s player of the match.”This will give us some momentum going into the Rugby World Cup. I am the man of the match, but credit to the forwards, they put in a hell of a shift tonight.”New Zealand captain Sam Cane, who like Scott Barrett received a first-half yellow card, said: “Our discipline really hurt us and their ability to dominate scrum, maul, line out and set piece made it really hard for us to get anything going.”He added: “We are going to have to learn quickly, but I would much rather we have it now than in a few weeks’ time.”- ‘Significant’ Lomax injury -To make matters worse for New Zealand, tighthead prop Tyrel Lomax suffered what appeared to be a deep gash to his leg.”It is very significant, so we are going to have to wait and see and cross our fingers on that,” said All Blacks coach Ian Foster.The Springboks were caught cold when they last played the All Blacks in July, with New Zealand racing into an early 17-0 lead before winning 35-20 in Auckland.But South Africa, fresh from a 52-16 hammering of Wales last weekend, almost scored from several close range line-outs before English referee Matt Carley sin-binned Scott Barrett for a ruck offence in the 13th minute.And two minutes later the All Blacks were down to 13 when flanker Cane was shown a yellow card for side entry at a maul.The Springboks’ pressure told in the 18th minute when flanker Kolisi forced his way over for a try between the posts.From the kick-off, however, South Africa conceded a penalty in front of their posts only for All Blacks fly-half Richie Mo’unga to hit the left upright with his kick.South Africa doubled their lead in the 34th minute when Arendse intercepted All Blacks centre Jordie Barrett’s pass.New Zealand wing Will Jordan had a try disallowed before half-time and the Springboks surged into a 21-0 lead early in the second half when, from a line-out, Kolisi’s pass released Marx for a blindside try in the corner.Springboks flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit was sin-binned after his shoulder made contact with Cane’s head, with a bunker review deciding his attempt at a tackle was sufficient to avoid his yellow card being upgraded to a red.Another line-out catch and drive before the hour led to replacement hooker Mbonami’s try and it was a similar story for Smith’s score.New Zealand avoided being ‘nilled’ nine minutes from time when replacement back Cam Roigard ran in a try from 70 metres out.Depending on pool results, the rugby superpowers could meet again in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.New Zealand launch the tournament against hosts and fellow heavyweights France on September 8, with South Africa beginning their title defence against Scotland in Marseille on September 10.