Friday, May 24

South Africa Delivers a Defining Blow to All Blacks Before Rugby World Cup with Record 35-7 Victory at Twickenham

South Africa Delivers a Defining Blow to All Blacks Before Rugby World Cup with Record 35-7 Victory at Twickenham


South Africa vs New Zealand:

In a riveting showdown at Twickenham on Friday, the Springboks unleashed a resounding statement that echoed through the rugby world. Their commanding performance left both fans and pundits mesmerized as they dealt the All Blacks a historic blow, marking the most significant margin of defeat New Zealand’s storied history has ever witnessed. With a final scoreline of 35-7 in favor of the Springboks, the magnitude of their triumph became evident, particularly as they secured a halftime lead of 14-0. The stadium’s 80,827-strong crowd bore witness to an unforgettable spectacle that showcased South Africa’s dominance on the rugby field.

 

South Africa Delivers a Defining Blow to All Blacks Before Rugby World Cup with Record 35-7 Victory at Twickenham
South Africa Delivers a Defining Blow to All Blacks Before Rugby World Cup with Record 35-7 Victory at Twickenham

 

In a resounding display of their prowess, the Boks orchestrated an impressive five-try spectacle, outshining their opponents who managed a lone try. Flyhalf Manie Libbok’s precision in converting all five tries solidified their dominance on the scoreboard. With this remarkable victory, the Springboks are now set to embark on their journey to France with unwavering momentum. Notably, they etched their names in history by surpassing New Zealand’s previous record for the heaviest defeat, which stood at a 21-point margin.

This distinction harkens back to a 28-7 reversal suffered by New Zealand in a match against Sydney in 1999. The Springboks’ triumph not only maintains their momentum but also underscores their position as a force to be reckoned with on the rugby stage.

The Springboks showcased an unparalleled level of intensity that proved insurmountable for New Zealand. Their adeptness in both the lineout and scrum set them apart, overwhelming their opponents. This dominance was vividly illustrated when New Zealand’s lock Scott Barrett was handed a red card, a consequence that reflected not only his actions but also the palpable panic within the All Blacks’ ranks.

Right from the outset, the Springboks set the tone with an explosive start, firmly establishing their control over the game’s initial thirty minutes. Despite their commanding display, the points that their exceptional play warranted remained elusive until the culmination of a grueling first quarter.

The New Zealand defensive line was subjected to an unrelenting assault, leaving it battered and bruised yet remarkably unyielding. Wave after wave of green-clad attackers crashed upon it, akin to an enraged ocean relentlessly pounding against the shores of New Zealand. This vivid imagery encapsulates the unyielding defensive effort that the All Blacks exerted in the face of the Springboks’ relentless assault.

During this period, the Springboks managed to breach the try line on three occasions, yet each attempt was thwarted by a determined wall of All Black bodies. Malcolm Marx and Pieter-Steph du Toit carried the ball over the line but were unable to ground it, while Makazole Mapimpi’s effort on the left wing was nullified as he was tackled out just as he was about to score.

The All Blacks found themselves caught in a pattern of conceding penalties, having given away nine before the Springboks had even yielded one. The breaking point arrived in the 14th minute when referee Matthew Carley’s patience reached its limit. Scott Barrett received a 10-minute sanction for interfering with the halfback, and shortly after, captain Sam Cane joined him in the sin bin for infringing at the side of a maul. This marked the fourth penalty of its kind during that phase of play.

Seizing the advantage of a two-man differential, the dam of resistance finally ruptured. Captain Siya Kolisi became the fourth player to cross the try line, demonstrating remarkable finesse as he managed to get one end of the ball to touch down beyond the whitewash and beneath the crossbar. Eben Etzebeth was right behind him, providing the crucial support needed for the decisive score.

New Zealand’s first glimpse of the Springbok 22 only materialized as the first quarter drew to a close. Despite being down in numbers, they capitalized on a penalty conceded by the Boks and attempted a shot at goal. However, Richie Mo’unga’s kick ricocheted off the outer pole, denying them the points they sought.

As the game progressed, the All Blacks managed to establish better field position and gradually strung together phases of play. Nevertheless, the Springbok defense proved to be unyielding, particularly in close quarters. Their resolute defensive efforts extended to urgent scrambling across wider areas of the field, showcasing their determination to stifle the All Blacks’ advances at every turn.

During one pivotal moment, the Springboks capitalized on an opportune situation to secure their second try. Wing Kurt-Lee Arendse showcased exceptional anticipation as he positioned himself brilliantly in the center field. Seizing an offload intended for Beauden Barrett by his brother Jordie, Arendse’s swift sprint from halfway enabled him to maintain his remarkable try-a-game average, marking his 11th try in his 10th test appearance. Another successful conversion by Libbok extended their lead.

Just four minutes later, New Zealand’s woes deepened. Scott Barrett’s shoulder-first dive into a ruck resulted in a forceful impact on Malcolm Marx’s head. Barrett’s earlier yellow card led to an automatic red, although a citing commissioner would deliberate on whether such an action warranted an independent red card.

Despite the challenges, New Zealand displayed resilience, refusing to surrender. They maintained a high tempo and fluid ball movement, facilitated by numerous well-executed offloads. This strategy created an opportunity for wing Will Jordan to breach the try line just before halftime. However, the All Blacks’ relief was short-lived as the try was disallowed following a TMO review due to an earlier knock-on, leaving them still seeking a breakthrough.

The second half mirrored the intensity of the first, as the Springboks once again positioned themselves near the All Black try line with a well-executed lineout. However, this time, their efforts yielded instant results. Securing the ball in the middle, they swiftly maneuvered it off the top to Siya Kolisi, who in turn fed Malcolm Marx positioned on the touchline. Marx’s powerful surge from 10 meters out resulted in a try, marking his 17th Test try and solidifying his place as the Springbok forward with the highest number of tries.

The atmosphere at Twickenham reached a crescendo moments later when Canan Moodie appeared to add to the Boks’ tally with a fourth try. The center executed a clever toe-ahead kick on the halfway line, deftly gathered the ball, utilized a dummy, and powered through the converging defense to touch down near the left flank. However, the joyous eruption was short-lived, as it was revealed that Moodie had been slightly ahead of the ball when it spilled out from the side of a ruck. Consequently, the try was disallowed, leaving the Springboks without the additional points they momentarily celebrated.

In a potentially unprecedented move within rugby, the Springboks made a notable tactical shift by introducing seven forward replacements simultaneously, effectively overhauling their playing roster while retaining scrumhalf Cobus Reinach. This strategic maneuver aimed to intensify the pressure on New Zealand and maintain the Boks’ momentum.

A moment of respite for New Zealand and a touch of anxiety for the Springboks emerged when Pieter-Steph du Toit’s tackle on Sam Cane—while the All Black was dipping—resulted in contact between du Toit’s wrapping arm and Cane’s head. As a consequence, du Toit received a yellow card with a subsequent referral to the video review. However, the incident did not escalate to a red card decision.

The torment persisted for New Zealand as the Springboks piled on further agony with two additional tries. Bongi Mbonambi and Kwagga Smith contributed to the scoreline through a maul and a lineout, respectively.

As the game’s tempo increased and New Zealand embraced a more audacious approach, replacement scrumhalf Cam Roigard managed to secure a consolation try. Despite their efforts, they were unable to breach the Springboks’ defense once again, as the awe-inspiring performance concluded with the Boks’ defenders relentlessly halting opposing ball carriers until the final whistle.

The scoring summary for the match unfolded as follows:

South Africa clinched a commanding victory with a total of 35 points, including five tries. Siya Kolisi, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, and Kwagga Smith all contributed to the Springboks’ tally of tries. The flawless kicking accuracy of Manie Libbok saw him successfully convert all five tries, further cementing South Africa’s dominance on the scoreboard.

In contrast, New Zealand managed to secure 7 points, with their sole try coming from Cam Roigard. Richie Mo’unga added the conversion to the try, accounting for New Zealand’s modest contribution to the final scoreline.

 

 


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