World Rugby

Springboks Hand All Blacks Record Defeat At Twickenham In Dominant Display

Springboks Hand All Blacks Record Defeat At Twickenham In Dominant Display

South Africa's Springboks hand New Zealand's All Blacks a record defeat 35-7 at Twickenham Stadium ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023.

Aug 25, 2023 by Philip Bendon
Springboks Hand All Blacks Record Defeat At Twickenham In Dominant Display

Five tries to one says it all for this evening, but in a different vein, it doesn’t. 

Unlike any moment in their long, esteemed history, the All Blacks were not even in the same realm as their opponents. 

It was record losing margin of 28 points and came at the hands of their fiercest rivals will string. More than that, it throws into disarray their Rugby World Cup campaign, and dare we say it takes them back to the dark days of their 2022 home series loss to Ireland. 

Held scoreless outside of a breakaway try against the run of play from replacement halfback Cam Roigard for the full 80 minutes, the All Blacks were blunt. 

More concerning than any other aspect was the All Blacks discipline or lack thereof. 

Three yellow cards (two to Scott Barrett, thus becoming a red) were a direct result of the vice-like grip the Boks placed on their defense. 

Similar to last year’s 2022 home series loss to Ireland, the All Blacks were chasing shadows and caught the ire of referee Matthew Carley. Having penalized the Kiwis 12 times in the opening 10 minutes, his patience ran out, as two quick yellow cards followed. 

As the cards flowed, the cracks began to appear, as the Boks crossed for two tries to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. 

The first try came on the back of a wave of heavy carries, while the second was simply a brilliant read from Kurt-Lee Arendse, who intercepted a Jordy Barrett offload to go over untouched. 

Despite being down to 14 men and 14 points down, one could be forgiven for believing that, given their track record, a comeback was not out of the realms of possibility. 

This thought was stamped down by the sizeable boot of Bok Hooker Malcolm Marx just over a minute into the second half. 

Barging over for the opening try of the second half and the Boks' third, the feint All Blacks pulse dropped to a nearly flat line. 

Two minutes later, the Boks were in again, as breakthrough sensation Canan Moodie bamboozled his way to the try line through sheet individual brilliance. 

Unfortunately for the 20-year-old, the try was disallowed, as Moodie was adjudged to have been offsides. 

Respite for the All Blacks, but again only temporarily, as the World Champions continually twisted the screw. 

Two more tries, courtesy of Springbok replacement forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Kwagga Smith, sealed the deal. 

In the end, 35-7 still doesn’t read as a real score in a Springbok and All Black match. Even more shocking is that this scoreline flatters the Kiwis. 

Now, mere weeks away from playing their opening fixtures at the Rugby World Cup, the two sides could not be entering the tournament on a more different footing. 

Questions will be circling - was the Rugby Championship a mirage? Was the All Blacks dominance built on an experimenting Springboks and inconsistent Pumas and Wallabies. 

There will be no respite for Ian Foster and his squad as their World Cup starts against hosts and joint-favorites France in Paris. 

For all of the Springboks' brilliance, of which there was plenty, France, led by arguably the best player in the game in Antoine Dupont, has the ability to cut loose unlike any other side.

Sitting at home, they will sense blood in the water. Losing the opening game, while by no means a tournament ender, only will deepen doubts in the squad. 

Throw into the mix that the All Blacks likely will face Ireland or South Africa in the quarterfinal (outside of Scotland causing an upset in the pool stages), and the demons inflicted by those two sides will be present. 

Quotes from press conference to follow….