Springboks All Blacks Canan Moodie

Springbok Canan Moodie breaks away against the All Blacks. Photo: SA Rugby website.

World press view: “Springboks bruised All Blacks’ egos and bodies”

HOT OFF THE PRESS: From ‘Boks partied like it’s 2019’ to ‘All Blacks battered and bruised’, this is how the media reacted to South Africa’s record-breaking win over New Zealand.

Springboks All Blacks Canan Moodie

Springbok Canan Moodie breaks away against the All Blacks. Photo: SA Rugby website.

A round-up of what some of the leading news publications and outlets are saying after the Springboks’ demolition job over the All Blacks at Twickenham on Friday night.

The Springboks produced one of their all-time greatest performances to thrash the All Blacks 35-7, thus inflicting the biggest-ever defeat on New Zealand in Test match history.

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Rugby journalists and writers react to the contest and the result.

Stuart Barnes, writing in The Times was blown away by the Springboks.

“Talk about Test-match pedigree. Talk about statements. New Zealand’s record defeat was an echoing endorsement of South Africa, Scott Barrett’s red card and possible ban a cause for concern,” wrote Barnes. 

“It was an awful day for Ian Foster’s All Blacks, who face France in their opening World Cup match, but a cracking day for English neutrals.

Stuart Barnes on All Blacks Springboks
Stuart Barnes’ view on the Springboks’ win.

Robert Kitson of The Guardian was enthralled by the contest.

By the end it was about as grisly a dress rehearsal as New Zealand could possibly have experienced. South Africa’s triumph was their most convincing in the 102-year history of this fixture and a depleted All Black pack were left in pieces on the floor. Even before Barrett’s early bath his side’s second-row resources were already stretched and tight-head prop Tyrel Lomax looked to be another serious casualty on a heavy-duty evening.

“On this evidence the Boks will make mincemeat of one or two packs at the World Cup.”

Robert Kitson on All Blacks vs Springboks
Robert Kitson’s take on the game.

WATCH: Springboks vs All Blacks highlights

Liam Napier, writing for the NZ Herald, said it was a case of “injuries, cards and carnage” for the All Blacks.

“The All Blacks wanted a full-blown test in their final outing before the World Cup. They got that and much, much more.

“With the feel-good factor surrounding the All Blacks sucked into the London air, how they bottle this experience and respond will be telling.

All Blacks Springboks
Liam Napier on state of All Blacks after defeat.

Gregor Paul, also in the NZ Herald, wrote that the All Blacks ship hit rocky waters on eve of RWC

“The good ship All Blacks met choppy waters for the first time in 2023 in London and ended up looking a lot less seaworthy than at any time this year.

“It ended up with a giant hole being ripped in the hull, as not only were various parts of the All Blacks’ game exposed as having a previously unrealised fragility, but the margin of defeat was massive and reflective of the fact South Africa’s domination was total.”

ABs record loss
Gregor Paul on All Blacks defeat.

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Charlie Morgan, writing in London’s Daily Telegraph, warned the Scots and the Irish about the ominous Boks.

“Scotland and Ireland, the Springboks’ pool opponents, might have been watching this monstering from behind their sofas by the end”.

He added, “warm-up or not, New Zealand will have left Twickenham with egos and bodies bruised from all-time record loss; more so because they were close to full strength”.

“Jacques Nienaber’s team partied like it was the 2019 final, and seem in a strong position to defend their title across The Channel.”

Springboks down ABs
Charlie Morgan on Springboks beating All Blacks.

Chris Foy, writing in the Daily Mail, backed the Springboks to defend your RWC title

“The Springboks showed that they can defend the title they won in 2019, with a demonstration of force and flair”.

While “it would be premature to write off New Zealand, never in their proud history have they been beaten so badly by anyone and it will savagely dent their belief ahead of a tournament opener against hosts France in Paris”.

“In theory, these great rivals could meet again in the World Cup quarterfinals. If so, the Springboks are bound to take heart from striking a massive psychological blow here.”

Springboks vs All Blacks
Chris Foy lauds Springboks for effort against All Blacks.

Writing in his blog for The Guardian, Luke McLaughlin singled out Canan Moodie as the star of the Springboks’ show.

“In a match where the devastating power of the Springbok pack was again to the fore, it may seem off to focus on a back. But intelligently applied South African strength is a given these days, and the 20-year-old Moodie clearly has something special.”

Springboks vs ABs
Luke McLaughlin lauds Canan Moodie’s display against the All Blacks.

Stuff NZ reporter Robert van Royen took aim at the ‘grim All Blacks’.

“The largest defeat in All Blacks history, no matter how you look at it, isn’t in any way wanted preparation two weeks out from a World Cup opener in any universe,” he wrote.

“Sure, better to put out a stinker in a warm-up match on neutral territory than against hosts France in Paris in a fortnight, but this was a disastrous evening in London for the All Blacks, who had been cock-a-hoop after winning the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship during an unbeaten start to the year.”

All Blacks
Robert van Royen hits out at All Blacks.


Springboks – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Canan Moodie, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 RG Snyman, 21 Marco van Staden, 22 Cobus Reinach, 23 Kwagga Smith.

All Blacks – 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Jordie Barrett, 11 Mark Telea, 10 Richie Mounga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane (c), 6 Luke Jacobson, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Ethan de Groot.
Subs: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Tamaiti Williams, 18 Fletcher Newell, 19 Josh Lord, 20 Tupou Vaai, 21 Dalton Papali’i, 22 Cam Roigard, 23 Anton Leinert-Brown.