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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 July, 2003, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
New Zealand thrash Springboks
Doug Howlett
Doug Howlett scored twice for the All Blacks

South Africa 16-52 New Zealand

New Zealand confirmed their status as Tri-Nations favourites with a record win over South Africa in Pretoria.

The visitors scored seven tries to one as the Springboks failed to cope with the All Blacks power.

The final whistle marked one of the lowest points in South Africa rugby history as home fans were left to contemplate a record losing margin - as well as number of tries conceded - against the All Blacks.

The Springboks had been hoping to build on an impressive victory over Australia last week.

But, with both their home Tri-Nations games behind them, they now face a tough test of character if they are to finish the series off the bottom of the table.

It's devastating for us to lose in this way
SA coach Rudolph Straeuli
In almost every phase of play the Kiwis were superior and their backs were given space to show the silkiest handling skills in world rugby

And with fly-half Carlos Spencer controlling affairs with ease, the home side were constantly threatened.

After Springbok fly-half Louis Koen opened the scoring with a penalty, Spencer quickly silenced the partisan Loftus Versfeld crowd with the first try of the day.

A storming run from Chris Jack punched a hole in the Springbok line and Spencer followed up quickly, beating Stefan Terblanche with a dummy before crossing under the posts.

Match facts
South Africa 16
Tries: Willemse
Cons: Koen
Pens: Koen (2)
Drops: Koen
New Zealand 52
Tries: Spencer, Howlett (2), Rokocoko (2), Meeuws, Mauger
Cons: Spencer (3)
Pens: Spencer (3)

The Auckland veteran made up for missing the conversion with a penalty minutes later, before a superb off-load in the tackle by Aaron Mauger set up Doug Howlett.

With South Africa already reeling, more disaster followed when a misplaced pass from Brent Russell handed Joe Rokocoko a simple run in from 20 metres to leave the Springboks in further disarray.

Koen kept the home side just about in touch with a penalty as half-time approached, but after the break the All Blacks were content to soak up some early pressure before stepping up a gear.

Our backs found space and took their opportunities
All Black captain Reuben Thorne
As the final quarter approached, a sweeping move involving forwards and backs ended with Spencer feeding Rokocoko to cross for his second try of the match.

Kees Meeuws bundled over moments later for try number five before getting a yellow card for lashing out in the ruck.

With the one-man advantage the Springboks finally managed to get over the New Zealand line - Ashwin Willemse capping a fine performance with his debut international try.

But the final word was deservedly with the All Blacks.

Howlett squeezed in at the corner after a spectacular tap pass from Spencer, who converted from the sideline.

And the dispirited home side looked out on their feet when Mauger burst through from the halfway line to take the score past 50 points.

South Africa: Brent Russell; Stefan Terblanche, Andre Snyman, De Wet Barry, Ashwin Willemse; Louis Koen, Joost van der Westhuizen; Juan Smith, Wikus van Heerden, Corne Krige (capt), Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Richard Bands, Danie Coetzee, Lawrence Sephaka

Replacements: Dale Santon; Robbie Kempson; Selborne Boome; Pedrie Wannenburg; Craig Davidson; Gcobani Bobo; Andre Pretorius.

New Zealand: Malili Muliana; Doug Howlett, Tana Umaga, Aaron Mauger, Joe Rokocoko; Carlos Spencer, Steve Devine; Jerry Collins, Richard McCaw, Reuben Thorne (capt), Ali Williams, Chris Jack, Greg Somerville, Keven Mealamu, Dave Hewett

Replacements: Caleb Ralph, Daniel Carter, Justin Marshall, Rodney So'oialo, Brad Thorn, Kees Meeuws, Mark Hammett

Referee: Alain Rolland (IRL)


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