As expected, fans and media reacted harshly to the latest All Blacks loss, this time to South Africa, as the national team remain on an all-time low world ranking of fourth.
The All Blacks must play a second Test against South Africa next week at Ellis Park in Johannesburg and the head coach Ian Foster’s job is now hanging by a thread, as is the future of flanker Cane as the leader of the team. New Zealand are in the midst of their worst run in 24 years after last month’s historic home series loss to Ireland.
Another defeat against the world champions next weekend would will likely prove to be the end for Foster. New Zealand’s chief executive Mark Robinson recently refusing to guarantee his position beyond the two games against South Africa, throwing the All Blacks into some turmoil just over a year out from the Rugby World Cup in France.
Exits were poor by the All Blacks, they lost the aerial battle all game, their haka was unconvincing, and Ellis Park is higher and bigger and louder.
The Bok defence is very, very high and makes mad incursions (PDST, Marx, the nines, and Etzebeth all have licence to roam out of the defensive line).
Barrett does not look as comfortable as Mo’unga up against this setup, but to be fair, his midfield was badly outplayed by de Allende and Am, so Barrett was tempted to join Savea in “hero ball.”
New Zealand made too many unforced errors with stray passes and knock-ons from carries and will have to show a vast improvement ahead of the second Rugby Championship match-up between the two sides at Ellis Park in Johannesburg next Saturday.
A late try by loose forward Shannon Frizell appeared to put some gloss on the scoreboard for the visiting team, only for Springboks fullback Willie Le Roux to score in the last play of the game to seal what was an emphatic 26-10 victory.
In truth, the All Blacks didn’t pose much of a threat and it was largely one-way traffic following an early try from the electric Kurt-Lee Arendse.
It’s the fifth loss in six Tests for the All Black coach, a heretofore unheard-of run of results for the giants of the sport.
They will now drop to their lowest ever World Rugby rankings position, fifth, by dint of having lost the game by 15 points or more.
The defeat will heap further pressure on Ian Foster, whose coaching reshuffle post the Ireland series loss – Jason Ryan coming in and John Plumtree and Brad Mooar departing – wasn’t enough of a change to bring an end to New Zealand’s miserable run of results.
The Springboks were more dominant at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday than the scoreline suggests.
They bossed the set-piece and breakdown, with hooker Malcolm Marx particularly devastating in his 50th test.
South Africa consigned the All Blacks to a fifth loss in six Tests, eclipsing their opponents with a suffocating performance that increased the pressure on Ian Foster, New Zealand’s beleaguered head coach.
Breakdown disruption, swarming defence, aerial dominance and set-piece power were the familiar pillars of the Springboks’ display in Nelspruit. Kurt-Lee Arendse, who was later sent off, and Willie Le Roux scored tries with Handrè Pollard kicking 16 points.
Malcolm Marx, on the occasion of his 50th cap, was phenomenal on the floor and tormented the All Blacks with numerous turnovers. New Zealand managed a late consolation try through Shannon Frizell, but continually struggled for a foothold.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) August 6, 2022
— Avela Mi'Avisto (@Tata_Ka_Mabhul) August 6, 2022
Congratulations to the @Springboks on a victorious start to the Rugby Championship with a win over traditional rivals the #AllBlacks. Mbombela made rugby history and well done to all concerned. Go Bokke! #RSAvNZL pic.twitter.com/ZUzx5sk2cL
— Cyril Ramaphosa ???????? (@CyrilRamaphosa) August 6, 2022
— Josh Gardner (@joshgardner) August 6, 2022
— Assylina108 (@AstridTsomba108) August 6, 2022
Full time at Mbombela.
— Springboks (@Springboks) August 6, 2022
The springboks remain a shining star in the darkness we face as a country. They are a reflection of what we can become if we embrace our diversity and work on our strengths.
Great game by Lukhanyo Am#RSAvNZL
— Nicholas Nyati???????? (@NicholasNyati) August 6, 2022
— JH Boshoff (@jhboshoff) August 6, 2022
— #ProtectSouthAfrica???????????????? #FreePalestine???????????????? (@ThuliXakana) August 6, 2022