The All Blacks put in a rampant second half performance to blow the Springboks out of a Rugby Championship contest that was evenly matched on the scoreboard at halftime. When the black machine kicked into gear, they achieved a record 57-15 victory.
In reality the home side were always just hanging on in that first half, applying good pressure but never really looking like threatening the tryline.
The thumping, the highest score margin even between the two rivals, means that New Zealand have now won 17 Tests in a row, equalling the record that they have held twice before, and South Africa once. A victory over Australia in two weeks time could mean they set a record that few teams will be able to realistically challenge for some time to come.
The All Blacks finished the Rugby Championship with a perfect clean sweep of six wins from six, all bonus point victories. In a year when they are supposedly rebuilding after losing a number of huge stars, the future looks bright, while everyone else has a lot of catching up to do.
The Springboks were their own worst enemy at times though, making some poor decisions tactically and missing first time tackles all too regularly. Their defence wasn’t up to standard and attack looked stammered and rudderless.
While Morne Steyn did his job with the boot, it wasn’t enough as the Boks lacked the confidence and perhaps mental edge to physically dominate the opposition – usually their strongest asset – and failed to back themselves when they had rare opportunities to set up driving mauls.
On the flip side, their simply isn’t a team on the planet right now – except maybe the Fijian 7s side in that format – that can match this New Zealand team for skill and execution.
They took tiny chances and turned them into points, punishing the home side for turnovers, poor tactical kicking and some ill discipline late in the game, after a frustrated looking dangerous clearout.
It was a dark, pitch black day for Springbok rugby, the likes of which fans are starting to get used to.