DURBAN, South Africa, Oct 8 (Reuters) – New Zealand equalled their record of 17 test wins in a row as they claimed their biggest victory over old foes South Africa on Saturday, a crushing 57-15 triumph in the Rugby Championship at King’s Park.
Scrumhalf TJ Perenara, in the side for the disgraced Aaron Smith, scored two tries.
There were also doubles for wing Israel Dagg and flyhalf Beauden Barrett and further scores from replacement hooker Codie Taylor, fullback Ben Smith and flanker Liam Squire.
The Springboks never looked like grabbing a try but were still in the game at the hour mark as they trailed by 10 thanks to the boot of Morne Steyn who kicked all their points.
South Africa’s scrambling defence that held off Australia last weekend was no match for the world champions who completed a clean sweep of six wins in this year’s southern hemisphere championship.
The result bettered the 52-16 away victory over the Springboks in 2003 and emphasised the All Blacks’ status as the best team in the world.
It is the third time New Zealand have won 17 successive tests. They can break their record in the next match, the Bledisloe Cup against Australia in Auckland on Oct. 22.
Perenara started Saturday’s game because Smith was sent home after admitting a liaison with an unknown female in a disabled toilet while on international duty last month.
The All Blacks lost little of their rhythm with him at number nine and, with a forward pack on the front foot, dominated possession against a toothless home side that looked devoid of ideas, other than to kick for territory and rely on winning turnovers.
It was a ploy that worked for the first 20 minutes as they led 6-0 thanks to two Steyn penalties but the stifling pressure placed on their defence eventually told.
Dagg got the visitors’ first try in the corner before Perenara burrowed over from close range as the All Blacks led 12-9 at halftime.
If New Zealand were missing some rhythm in the opening period, they found it in the second as they decamped in the opposition half, launching wave after wave of attacks.
They scored four tries in the final 10 minutes as South Africa were overwhelmed, having no answer to the rampant visitors.
Editing by Tony Jimenez