The Springboks fired a shot that reverberated around the rugby world at a mesmerized Twickenham on Friday as they inflicted the heaviest defeat on the All Blacks in New Zealand’s storied history, running away 35-7 victors (halftime 14-0) in front of 80 827 fans.
The Boks scored five tries to one – flyhalf Manie Libbok converting all of them – to head for France on Saturday with momentum maintained and the milestone of having eclipsed the previous heaviest defeat (21 points) suffered by New Zealand – a 28-7 reverse in Sydney in 1999.
The Springboks intensity, lineout efficiency and scrum dominance were too much for New Zealand who lost lock Scott Barrett to a red card late in the first half – but that was as much a symptom of the All Blacks’ panic as it was of anything else.
The Springboks made a blistering start and dominated the opening half-hour, although the points advantage their play deserved did not materialise until the end of a brutal first quarter.
The New Zealand defence was battered, bruised, bent but unyielding against wave after wave of green-shirted attackers breaking like an angry ocean on New Zealand’s shores.