All Blacks find moment of magic

Kristopher Nichols
September 19, 2017

Coetzee looked on as his side fell to the worst defeat in the history of Springbok rugby, and while he insisted afterwards that there were still positives he could take from the match, he was also forced to acknowledge the class of the opposition.

The high-octane game Hansen is trying to ideal is mesmerising when it comes off, as it did against the Springboks and for the first 50 minutes of their opening Rugby Championship Test against Australia.

"You've got nine weeks, seven test matches and 11 time zone changes", Hansen said of the second half of his season.

"It's been a while coming this year", he said.

"I've just continually tried to push myself and, in doing so, hopefully the boys can follow me".

Scrum-half Aaron Smith said that there were signs it was not the complete performance the All Blacks were searching for. He's starting to really look like a Test tighthead prop.

The All Blacks and the Springboks last met in last year's Rugby Championship where the Boks lost to the All Blacks 41-13 in Christchurch before going down again 57-15 in Durban for their second Rugby Championship encounter.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, the opening stanza belonged to South Africa when Eben Etzebeth, Jean-Luc de Preez and Uzair Cassiem led a muscular approach.

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Milner-Skudder's first try came from his intercept in New Zealand territory and he finished off the move after some classy interplay with Beauden Barrett to beat the cover defence.

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Lima Sopoaga, Anton Lienert-Brown.

For flanker Sam Cane, that spark has little do with recent results and more to do with the lengthy tradition of on-field war between the All Blacks and South Africa.

"Our guys have massive respect for them as a rugby nation and that's why we prepare so well for them". We can't wait to do that.

"It is a challenge for us emotionally".

Hansen said that the coaching staff are chuffed with their side's 57-0 win over South Africa in Albany. "I think they are vulnerable but you still have to be at your best to exploit that".

It was only the fifth time in 94 Tests between the All Blacks and Springboks that the South Africans have been held scoreless.

- Jaco Kriel tops the tackles charts (38) after three rounds, however, Coenraad Oosthuizen has made more than any other player who is yet to miss one (32/32).

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