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New Zealand vs South Africa
The Rugby Championship, 16 September, 2017
|Fulltime - New Zealand 57, South Africa 0|
|New Zealand||South Africa|
|Referee: Nigel Owens|
|Touch judges: Angus Gardner & Matthew Carley|
|TMO: George Ayoub|
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The All Blacks have beaten the Springboks by 57 to 0 this evening in Auckland and stretch their lead at the top of the Rugby Championship.
All Blacks 57
The All Blacks and Springboks go head to head in Round 4 of the Rugby Championship at QBE Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting at 5:35pm (AEST).
The All Blacks versus the Boks is something special, and this is the 94th clash between the pair.
It’s easy to assume the Kiwis will rack up their 56th win, but the Boks’ recent form suggests that their might be some surprises in store.
South Africa are shaking off the poor form of 2016 with good wins against France and are now unbeaten in the Rugby Championship. They arguably should have beaten the Wallabies last week in Perth, showing great determination to come back strongly in the second half and salvage a draw.
The British and Irish Lions showed the world earlier this year that the All Blacks can be contained – and even beaten – at home. The Wallabies came close, but ultimately failed, although the Pumas’ spirited opposition was never going to threaten the Kiwis’ march through this year’s tournament.
If the Boks can combine the successful defensive tactics that the Lions used with their own natural flair and desire to attack, then New Zealand could be in trouble.
Damian McKenzie will want to use the rest of this season to make the fullback shirt his own – or at least ensure Ben Smith doesn’t just stroll back into his jersey once he returns from his sabbatical. Meanwhile, Sonny Bill Williams will be keen to impress after a poor series against the Lions and a less-than-stellar start to this year’s Championship.
For the Boks, Elton Jantjies seems to have finally taken the step up from Super Rugby star to international leader, but there will be no greater challenge to him than the All Blacks. His kicking game especially will need to be on point.
The battle of the best second rows in the game will be great to watch, particularly with solid set pieces being so important.
The Springboks are clearly improving and promise to push their old enemy hard, but the All Blacks will have too much class across the field.
All Blacks by 15 points.