HISTORIC HORROR SHOW
Mother of all hidings in South Africa’s worst defeat in their centuries-old history
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has 57 problems and they all have to do with how the All Blacks have become the bane of his life.
Just the thought of the number 57 could be enough to have him committed to an institution after an unspeakable rugby shakedown in which the Boks couldn't answer the R57-million question.
The All Blacks made sure lightning struck twice and in a country where sheep outnumber humans, Coetzee’s charges were lambs sacrificed at the altar of the rugby gods.
They are pleased the All Blacks raise their game for their old enemies, whom they've now beaten 56 times in 95 meetings since the first in Dunedin on August 13 1921.
They've now seen off the Boks 37 times in 51 meetings since 1992, eradicating claims of the closeness of the All Blacks/Springbok rivalry.
Coetzee was red-eyed
The Boks have won only three times in New Zealand since readmission and at no point did they look like they would add to that measly statistic.
If ever last year's Durban demolition (5715) was seen as an aberration despite the abject nature of his charges at the time, yesterday’s Albany annihilation is the most demoralising moment in the 111-year Springbok saga.
The Pretoria “Pakslae” (52-16) committed by John Mitchell's unit on Rudolf Straeuli's sorry lot in 2003, 2002's 53-3 Twickenham thrashing exercised by Clive Woodward’s England also overseen by Straeuli, and 2006’s 49-0 Brisbane battering Jake White had to endure against Australia paled into insignificance in light of the record-breaking thrashing.
Coetzee was red-eyed and sat down for most of the game while assistant coach Brendan Venter looked on and screamed in disgust as the All Blacks sponged the early Bok pressure, from where they methodically dissected them.
“I wouldn't say it was a horror movie but we played our best rugby in the first 20 minutes and we felt we were on top as we dominated the collisions and had ball in hand. It was a case of one pass going astray and we were under the poles. We had numbers on their cross-kicks and the bounce of the ball and they scored. We were then behind and they’re a quality side,” Coetzee said.
No option but to fight back
“Emotionally we’ll see where we are but I’ve got no doubt the players will never give up. I’ve seen this group in the past seven tests and we’ve got no option but to fight back in South Africa and from this learning experience, we’ll get stronger, I promise you. We’ll be ready for Australia.”
Coetzee has no option but to get his charges ready for their Wallaby engagement on September 30 in Bloemfontein.
The All Blacks await at the home away from home that’s Newlands the following week. The last time the All Blacks faced the Boks in Cape Town nine years ago, they blanked them 19-0 while Australia made a mess of a handsome lead in 2010 before Kurtley Beale rescued them with a lastminute penalty to win 41-39.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen isn’t the type to rub defeat in the face of the losers but he had every reason to be happy with his team’s performance while also looking for improvement.
He's the only coach to record consecutive half-centuries against the Boks, which makes up for the indignities he suffered against them when he coached Wales.
“We’re trying to get better all the time and we’re working on different things. We came into the game with a clear idea of how we wanted to play and what we wanted to achieve and some of those things came off tonight,” Hansen said.
“At the end of the first half, we couldn’t believe the score. We took our opportunities and they didn’t. Our defensive work was probably as good as it ever has been. I think they’re a good side and the board doesn’t reflect the margins between the teams.”
Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi’s misery reflects the feelings of South African fans after the All Blacks demolished the Boks 57-0 yesterday — South Africa’s worst defeat in 111 years of playing rugby.
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies tries to get rid of the ball despite All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith’s close attention in their Rugby Championship match in Albany, New Zealand, yesterday.