Sport | All Blacks

Boks 35-ABs 7: ‘We’ve got to make it our biggest gift’

Source / Sky Sport

The All Blacks have crashed to their heaviest defeat in New Zealand rugby history, demolished 35-7 by South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday morning (NZT), just two weeks out from the Rugby World Cup.

Their previous record loss was a 28-7 defeat by Australia in 1999.

Until today, the All Blacks’ greatest losing margin against the Springboks had been almost a century ago when they were beaten 17-0 in Durban in 1928.

The All Blacks played the entire second half with 14 men after lock Scott Barrett was sent off just before halftime following a second yellow card.

New Zealand trailed South Africa 14-0 at halftime and were looking down the barrel of an even worse loss after the score raced out to 35-0 with less than 15 minutes left to play. Some magic by Hurricanes halfback Cam Roigard who raced down the field to score a converted try prevented a complete white-wash.

Coach Ian Foster remains confident the ABs can turn around the damaging result before their opening test of the world cup against France on 9 September.

“We got a good lesson there, from a team who played really well up front,” said Foster. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in how we’ve been tracking in that area.

“But you can’t deny, that wasn’t a good performance from us. We’ve got a couple of weeks to get that right.

“But we fully believe that we can.”

Captain Sam Cane said the record loss “stings” but the team will learn from it.

“We certainly feel like we’ve come up short tonight. But we’ve got to make sure we use this as a positive.

“We’ve got to look at our own games, [and] find ways to get better. We can use this to find some good from it - even though it stings at the moment,” he said.

It’s a view backed by All Blacks back Anton Lienert-Brown.

“This is the All Blacks and when you let the jersey down like this you work hard to find a way to get better - and that’s what we’ll do over these next two weeks.”

“We’ll stick tight. You know, I always say rugby’s a journey, it’s not all roses, and this is one of those moments, those down moments, but we’ve got a huge campaign to look forward to.

“We’ve just got to make this our biggest gift going forward,” said Lienert-Brown.

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