THE All Blacks have emphatically answered questions about their world champion credentials, humiliating the supposedly resurgent Springboks in a record 57-0 rout at North Harbour on Saturday night.
New Zealand's eight-try shutout of South Africa eclipsed the previous record 57-15 win in Durban last year, and all but confirms the All Blacks will retain the Rugby Championship, having opened up an eight-point advantage with two games in the series to play.
It was the Springboks' first loss of 2017 and their meek surrender means all the good vibes built up in the republic during a six-game unbeaten streak have been utterly obliterated.
Quicksilver winger Nehe Milner-Skudder scored twice with the other tries going to Rieko Ioane, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Lima Sopoaga and Codie Taylor.
Beauden Barrett's mercurial kicking boots were on as well, slotting seven of eight conversion attempts as well as his only penalty shot while also directing traffic superbly from five-eighth then fullback.
South Africa actually started strongly, dominating the early scrum exchanges as they piled the heat on rookie All Blacks props Kane Hames and Nepo Laulala.
But while that aspect of their set-piece was firing, the lineout was disintegrating as hooker Malcolm Marx repeatedly missed his targets.
It allowed the Kiwis a steady stream of possession and they unleashed an imperious attacking performance in their best display of the year.
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