All Blacks floor 14-man Boks

Romain Poite and Bismarck du Plessis (AFP)
Romain Poite and Bismarck du Plessis (AFP)
Auckland - The All Blacks took the outright lead in the Rugby Championship here on Saturday when they comprehensively beat South Africa 29-15 in a bitter contest between the heavyweights of world rugby.

As it happened: All Blacks v Boks

How Sport24 chief writer Rob Houwing rated the Boks

In a match marred by a red card for Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis, the All Blacks also picked up a bonus point with their overwhelming victory over the previously unbeaten South Africans.

The All Blacks finished with only 13-men with two yellow cards in the final 10 minutes when captain Kieran Read was dismissed for a lineout foul and Ma'a Nonu was sent from the field for a dangerous shoulder charge.

The Springboks came to New Zealand confident they could shatter their Eden Park hoodoo, where they have not won since 1937.

Instead they were outplayed by pace on attack and the staunch defence by the All Blacks who scored four tries to the visitors' two.

The intensely physical battle erupted into an all-in brawl in the 15th minute when All Black playmaker Dan Carter was bowled in a tackle by Du Plessis.

It took referee Romain Poite a full minute to restore order, and when the dust settled the injured Carter was out of the game and Du Plessis harshly received 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

Du Plessis received his second yellow, and subsequent red card, in the first minute of the second half when he elbowed All Blacks flanker Liam Messam in the throat.

In between the All Blacks lost fullback Israel Dagg with an ankle injury and Sam Cane spent 20 minutes receiving medical treatment when he left the field in the first half with blood pouring from a head wound.

When Carter went down the All Blacks led 7-3 and by the time Du Plessis returned to the field they were 14-3 ahead and on their way to extending their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 32 (31 wins, one draw) dating back to 1994.

The All Blacks also overtook France for the most Test wins, moving to 383, and also extended their records for the most test points (13 242) and most Test tries (1 726).

The All Blacks kicked off with the breeze behind them and punished South Africa early when Nonu latched on to a misdirected Bryan Habana clearing kick.

The All Black centre's return kick forced a lineout in the corner from where Read drove over for his first try.

Morné Steyn landed a penalty for the Springboks before the punch up, then when the All Blacks had a one-man advantage they struck again with their second try.

Replacement flyhalf Beauden Barrett carved through the Springboks backline on a 55m run and lock Brodie Retallick finished off the move when he crashed over under the posts.

Du Plessis returned to the field to briefly restore his place in the South African good books when he scored from a lineout drive.

Steyn kicked the conversion and Barrett landed a penalty for the All Blacks who took a 17-10 lead into the break.

The second half had barely started when Du Plessis was sent from the field and when the All Blacks went a player up they immediately struck again.

Read crossed for his second try when he stormed through an attempted tackle by Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck's brother, and Barrett's conversion lifted the All Blacks to 24-10.

Cane scored the bonus point try in the 67th minute before South Africa came back with a late try to replacement back Patrick Lambie.


New Zealand:

Tries: Kieran Read (2), Brodie Retallick, Sam Cane

Conversions: Daniel Carter, Beauden Barrett (2)

Penalties: Barrett

South Africa:

Tries: Bismarck du Plessis, Pat Lambie

Conversion: Morné Steyn

Penalty: Steyn


New Zealand

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Charles Piutau

South Africa

15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss , 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

HAVE YOUR SAY: Was the sending-off of Bismarck du Plessis fair or not? Send your thoughts to Sport24.
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