Springboks dismantle shocking All Blacks
REPORT: The Springboks opened their Rugby Championship campaign in fine style, beating the All Blacks 26-10 at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
The ferocity of the Springboks constantly unsettled the All Blacks, who were lucky to trail only 3-10 at half-time having been outplayed in the opening 40 minutes.
New Zealand did win more possession in the second half but basic errors cost them and their only try, from replacement loose forward Shannon Frizell, arrived when South Africa were reduced to 14 men.
Wing Kurt-Lee Arendse, the scorer of the first South African try, was red-carded on 75 minutes after fouling airborne flyhalf Beauden Barrett.
Hooker Malcolm Marx was warmly greeted by the sell-out 40,000 crowd in recognition of him winning his 50th cap when he ran onto the field ahead of his teammates in the northeastern city.
There was a dramatic start to the opening match of the southern hemisphere championship with Springboks scrumhalf Faf de Klerk knocked out after his head struck the knee of All Blacks wing Caleb Clarke.
De Klerk had to be stretchered off but received lengthy applause when he appeared on the sideline midway through the opening half having failed a head injury assessment test.
Inexperienced Jaden Hendrikse, who debuted in a home series against Wales last month, replaced De Klerk just 43 seconds into the match.
Fired-up South Africa dominated early possession and territory and went ahead in eight minutes when Arendse scored his first try for the world champions in only his second appearance.
The New Zealand defence failed to grasp a lofted kick from flyhalf Handre Pollard and centre Lukhanyo Am fed Arendse, who raced over the tryline.
Unpredictable goal-kicker Pollard did well to convert from the touchline and increased the lead to 10 points on 22 minutes by slotting a close-range penalty between the posts.
There was a sudden change of momentum as half-time approached with New Zealand, helped by a steadier scrum, awarded four penalties in quick succession.
Fullback Jordie Barrett, one of three brothers in the All Blacks starting line-up, converted one of the penalties on 36 minutes to narrow the gap to seven points and it remained 10-3 until half-time.
In the second half, Pollard kicked two penalties and a drop goal to give the home team a 19-3 lead before both teams scored late tries.
Frizell dived over in the corner and fellow substitute Richie Mo’unga converted, then the replacement back Willie le Roux scored beside the post and Pollard converted for a personal tally of 16 points.
Man of the match: It was a very clinical performance from the Springboks players and anyone could have picked up this award. Kurt-Lee Arendse was incredible, scoring his first try for the Boks. Jaden Hendrikse also deserves a mention for his contribution, while Handre Pollard was amazing and boasts a 100 percent kicking rate. Malcolm Marx is another player that handed the Boks the advantage, forcing a couple of turnovers. However, our nod goes to Springboks fullback Damian Willemse. He was incredible on the attack and in defence. He made a crucial tackle on Caleb Clarke and his reading of the game was superb.
For South Africa:
Tries: Arendse, Le Roux
Cons: Pollard 2
Pens: Pollard 3
Drop Goal: Pollard
For New Zealand:
Pen: J Barrett
Red card: Kurt-Lee Arendse (South Africa, 74 – dangerous high tackle)
South Africa: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-lee Arendse, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois De Klerk , 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: 16 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Franco Mostert, 21 Albertus Smith, 22 Jaden Hendrikse, 23 Willie le Roux.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 David Havili, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 Samson Taukei’aho, 1 George Bower.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ethan de Groot, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Shannon Frizell, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Quinn Tupaea.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England) & Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Asustralia)
*Photo credit: Johan Orton