South Africa got their Rugby Championships Campaign off to the perfect start with a commanding win over the All Blacks in Mbombela.
Despite the relatively close score, the All Blacks were never really in the contest. Carrying over the issues they experienced in their series loss to Ireland, New Zealand were once again inaccurate.
Describing the All Blacks as toothless is almost incomprehensible but that is exactly what they were.
Offering very little in attack and lacking discipline, the Springboks absorbed every All-Black attack with ease.
Kicking with a perfect 100% record, Handre Pollard continually stretched the Springbok lead, and such ratcheted up the pressure on the visitors.
At every turn the Springboks were in the All Blacks faces, shutting down space and forcing them back.
The fixture featured two very worrying incidents, starting with Faf de Klerk coming off after just one minute following a knee to the head and ending with Kurt-lee Arendse and Beauden Barrett coming off following a horrible collision in the air.
Arendse was shown a red card having had no realistic chance of getting the ball. Clearly incensed, All Black backrow Ardie Savea boiled over as he directed his frustration at referee Angus Gardener.
It would take New Zealand until the 78th minute to get a try via backrow Shannon Frizell following a great break by winger Callum Clarke.
The Boks would hold on for a comfortable 26 – 10 win which once again puts the pressure firmly on All Black head coach Ian Foster.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) August 6, 2022