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All Blacks match record run with thumping victory over South Africa in Durban

New Zealand overcame the absence of suspended half-back Aaron Smith to seal a clean sweep in the Rugby Championship with a nine-try, 57-15 victory over South Africa in Durban.

The All Blacks' preparations for this clash were undermined by an embarrassing revelation on Wednesday when Smith was suspended for one Test and sent home from South Africa after admitting he joined a woman in a public toilet last month.

The incident occurred at Christchurch Airport, the day after the world champions beat the Springboks on September 17 to secure the Championship title with two rounds to spare.

Despite the distraction, the world champions produced a prolific attacking display and denied their opponents a try in achieving their 17th successive win - the record for the most victories in a row by a tier one nation - a feat they have managed before in 1965-1969 and 2013-2014.

The match was close at half-time when New Zealand's lead was a slender three points at 12-9, but they then blew their opponents away.

After Israel Dagg and TJ Perenara's first-half tries, both crossed again as seven more followed, with Beauden Barrett also bagging two before late scores for Codie Taylor, Ben Smith and Liam Squire.

Barrett, having an off-day with his goal-kicking but not his other play, landed three conversions before Lima Sopoaga took on the duties and scored three of his own.

Morne Steyn kicked South Africa into a 6-0 lead with two early penalties but Dagg quickly hit back with a 22nd-minute try after being released by Jerome Kaino's superb pass.

Steyn soon kicked a third penalty only for Perenara, who was Smith's replacement at scrum-half, to score with the TMO confirming the grounding despite the ball bobbling around.

The All Blacks hit the accelerator in the 44th minute when Barrett's offload from the floor rewarded a period of pressure.

Steyn kicked two more penalties either side of Barrett scoring his first by grounding after a charge-down.

Perenara then claimed his second, finishing after Barrett put Kieran Read into space, and Barrett did likewise under the posts with the TMO confirming there was no knock-on in the build-up.

With the Springboks' Lood de Jager sin-binned for a shoulder charge, Taylor was the man to emerge from under a rolling maul for the seventh try.

The All Blacks were rampant and Smith took Barrett's unselfish pop-pass to cross before Squires touched down in the corner following Barrett's break, with Taylor by that stage yellow-carded for a high tackle.


From Belfast Telegraph