Review New Zealand defeat South Africa in Rugby Championship

New Zealand maintained their perfect record in the 2016 Rugby Championship, scoring six tries in a 41-13 thrashing of South Africa.

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New Zealand maintained their perfect record in the 2016 Rugby Championship, scoring six tries in a 41-13 thrashing of South Africa.

The All Blacks had secured bonus-point victories in all three matches prior to Saturday's clash in Christchurch, and this encounter went to form against a Springbok side already reeling from successive losses to Argentina and Australia.

South Africa took the lead through Bryan Habana's 66th Test try midway through the first half, but that was as good as it got for the visitors as the world champions showed their class to chalk up a 15th consecutive triumph.

Israel Dagg and Julian Savea touched down to give the hosts a 15-10 advantage at the interval, and Ben Smith added a third try early in the second period.

Ardie Savea, younger brother of Julian, marked his first start with a try before Sam Whitelock and replacement scrum-half TJ Perenara got in on the act as New Zealand demonstrated their superiority.

Victory means anything other than a bonus-point win for Argentina against Australia will see the All Blacks regain the title they lost to the Wallabies last year.

An early Beauden Barrett penalty put the home side ahead, but the Springboks scored the game's first try in the 20th minute as Habana came from deep close to the line to collect Warren Whiteley's pass and touch down.

However, Elton Jantjies knocked on from the kick-off to give the All Blacks good territory, and Dane Coles' excellent no-look pass sent Dagg over in the right corner untouched.

And it was more good work from Coles that led to New Zealand's second shortly before the half-hour, the hooker offloading to Julian Savea who scored in the left corner despite the best efforts of Habana.

Jantjies' penalty got the Boks back to within five at the break, but the All Blacks extended their lead nine minutes after the restart as Aaron Smith slipped a clever ball to namesake Ben to go in under the posts.

After Jantjies' second penalty Aaron Smith proved the creator again, attracting the attention of several defenders before flicking a pass for Ardie Savea to score.

Another outstanding assist from Coles set up Whitelock for New Zealand's fifth with 15 minutes to go and Perenara sniped over from the base of a scrum to complete a resounding success.

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