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'Spineless': When the All Blacks massacred the Boks in 2011

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Just before hosting the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks played one of their two home tests in the Tri-Nations against the Springboks in front of a less-than-full Westpac Stadium in Wellington.


South Africa left 21 top line players at home to ready themselves for the Port Elizabeth rematch a few weeks later, sending a ‘B’ side was sent to Wellington to face the All Blacks at near full strength.

In a stiff Wellington southerly the visitors were smite by a sublime performance by Dan Carter, who was just one point shy of breaking Jonny Wilkinson’s record for most test points.

Carter took back the record with an early penalty to open the scoring.

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Wyatt Crockett had the All Blacks first try of the night, running over out wide untouched, before Carter pulled off a piece of mesmerising play breaking open the Boks in two phases from inside his own 22-metre line.

The All Blacks first five dropped a perfectly weighted grubber kick in behind South Africa’s defence which was picked up by a flying Ma’a Nonu.

On the next phase, Carter danced with the defence before sending Zac Guildford away with a smart flick of the wrists after turning John Smit inside-out. The left wing scooted 40-metres untouched to finish the play.

Then it was Cory Jane’s turn on the opposite side, taking a floating pass from Jimmy Cowan on the back foot before cutting inside two Springbok forwards.


Jane put a swerve on the fullback Morne Steyn to produce a brilliant solo try in front of his home crowd.


Carter was at it again just after half-time after fielding a deep kick from Steyn in the backfield.

The All Black No 10 dummied his way through some weak defence to break away down field. Two offloads saw Ma’a Nonu crash over in the tackle of three forwards, but he was held up.

From the scrum, Jane eventually had his second try of the night picking up the pass from Cowan on the bounce in the opposite corner.

Guildford scored his second to match his wing rival and extend the lead out to 33-7.

To finish of the massacre, the All Blacks produced a play out of the top draw which saw Piri Weepu wrap around Dan Carter and some slick passing saw Colin Slade dive over.

The New Zealand Herald labelled the performance ‘spineless’ from South Africa who struggled to offer much resistance in defence or much impetus in attack.

Carter took back the record for most test points, despite only kicking only half of his eight kicks at goal while Jane may secured his spot at that year’s World Cup with his double.


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