Facing the possibility of sitting out the first World Cup match against France, Scott Barrett saw red in a World Cup warm-up against South Africa.
New Zealand: 7 (Tries: Roigard, Cons: Mo’unga)
South Africa: 35 (Tries: Kolisi, Arendse, Marx, Mbonambi, Smith, Cons: Libbok 5)
New Zealand’s Scott Barrett found himself expelled from the match, marking a dismal milestone as the All Blacks took their worst defeat ever. The lock earned two yellow cards, and his second—for a reckless play against hooker Malcolm Marx—prompted a review by the TMO ‘bunker’.
Taking the lead with tries from Siya Kolisi and Kurt-Lee Arendse, South Africa followed up with more from Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, and Kwagga Smith, trouncing New Zealand and breaking their previous worst loss record—21 points, suffered both in 1999 and 2019.
The clash took place at a jam-packed Twickenham, where Barrett’s initial yellow card came after a series of team infractions as the All Blacks struggled to deal with the Springboks’ muscle power. He came back from his penalty stint, only to receive another yellow just before the halftime break for shoulder-charging into Marx, giving referee Matthew Carley no choice but to eject him.
Adding salt to the wound, the All Blacks were already facing the loss of veteran lock Brodie Retallick to injury for their World Cup opener against France. Barrett now has the dubious honor of being the first All Black to be sent off twice.
Meanwhile, prop Tyrel Lomax also left the field with a concerning knee injury, casting a shadow over his World Cup future.
The Springboks, who recently defeated Wales 52-16, are riding high as they head into their first World Cup match against Scotland on September 10. The win also put an end to New Zealand’s 11-game winning streak, showing once more that the South African power game that worked wonders during the 2019 World Cup is still in peak form.
“All credit to them; they had us in a stranglehold,” admitted All Blacks coach Ian Foster. “They owned the set-piece and that made a significant difference.”
The showdown at Twickenham was an odd choice of venue for the two southern hemisphere titans. Their last duel here was a nail-biting 2015 World Cup semi-final, narrowly won by New Zealand 20-18 after a late Beauden Barrett try. But this time around, the All Blacks found themselves engulfed by the Springboks’ intensity, losing both Scott Barrett and captain Sam Cane to early yellow cards.
Kolisi, the South African captain, was a juggernaut, aided by lock Eben Etzebeth in smashing over the line. Arendse then doubled the score with an unopposed run after intercepting a Jordie Barrett pass. Subsequent tries by Marx, Mbonambi, and Smith showed a forward unit in full throttle, living up to their ‘Bomb Squad’ reputation.
“Top marks to the team. It’s the kind of momentum we need heading into the World Cup,” said man of the match Damian Willemse.
New Zealand’s only glimmer of hope came in the form of replacement scrum-half Cam Roigard, who managed a skillful try in the game’s closing moments. But with a win this weekend by Ireland over Samoa, the Springboks could usurp New Zealand as the world’s top-ranked team.
Foster concluded, “This game was a wake-up call for us. We lost our way under pressure but there were some good defensive efforts in the first 20 minutes. It’s back to the drawing board.”
New Zealand: B. Barrett; Jordan, R. Ioane, J. Barrett, Telea; Mo’unga, Smith; De Groot, Coles, Lomax; S. Barrett, Whitelock; Jacobson, Cane (capt), Savea.
South Africa: Willemse; Arendse, Moodie, Esterhuizen, Mapimpi; Libbok, De Klerk; Kitshoff, Marx, Malherbe; Etzebeth, Mostert; Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Vermeulen.
Referee: Matthew Carley (RFU)
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rugby World Cup Warm-up
What was the final score of the match between South Africa and New Zealand?
The final score was a commanding 35-7 win for South Africa over New Zealand.
Who scored tries for South Africa?
Siya Kolisi, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, and Kwagga Smith scored tries for the South African Springboks.
Why was Scott Barrett sent off?
Scott Barrett received two yellow cards during the match. The second yellow was for a reckless clearout to the head of South Africa’s hooker Malcolm Marx, leading to his ejection from the game.
What does this loss mean for the New Zealand All Blacks?
This loss is particularly significant because it’s the worst defeat in the All Blacks’ history. It also raises questions about their preparations for the upcoming World Cup, especially with the possible suspension of Scott Barrett.
What was the venue for this match?
The match took place at Twickenham Stadium, which is a notable choice given that both teams are from the southern hemisphere.
How does this win impact South Africa’s World Cup prospects?
This win gives South Africa considerable momentum going into the Rugby World Cup. They’re scheduled to face Scotland in their opening game on September 10.
What injury concerns emerged for both teams?
For New Zealand, Tyrel Lomax left the field early with a knee injury, raising questions about his World Cup availability. Brodie Retallick is also already out with an injury. For South Africa, there were no reported injury concerns from this match.
Which player was named man of the match?
Damian Willemse was named man of the match and credited his team’s forwards for putting in a “hell of a shift.”
What were some notable comments from the All Blacks’ coach, Ian Foster?
Ian Foster admitted that South Africa had the All Blacks in a “stranglehold,” particularly praising the Springboks’ set-piece and physicality.
If Ireland beats Samoa, what happens to the team rankings?
If Ireland defeats Samoa, South Africa will likely head to France as the number one ranked side in the world, usurping New Zealand from the top spot.