New Zealand 41-13 South Africa: All Blacks brush Springboks aside and claim Championship crown
Last Updated: 17/09/16 2:47pm
New Zealand sealed the Rugby Championship title after they beat the Springboks 41-13 and Australia saw off Argentina 36-20 in Perth.
The All Blacks have a clean sweep of bonus-point wins from their first four encounters of the Rugby Championship and Argentina's subsequent failure to secure a bonus point against the Wallabies meant Kieran Read's side clinched the title with two games to spare.
The Springboks were in the game in Christchurch at the half-way mark as the teams went into the break with the All Blacks 15-10 ahead thanks to tries from Israel Dagg and Julian Savea.
But as has been the case throughout the Championship, the number one side in the world flexed their muscles in the second half as Ben Smith, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock and TJ Perenara all crossed to hand their side a comfortable win over their old rivals.
Bryan Habana scored his 66th Test try, three short of the world record of Japan's Daisuke Ohata, in the opening period while fly-half Elton Jantjies added a conversion and two penalties for the Boks.
Beauden Barrett kicked a ninth-minute penalty to score the first points for the All Blacks, but the visitors got on the board when Habana ran a superb angle and was put into space by Warren Whiteley 10 minutes later.
The hosts responded immediately when Jantjies spilled the restart kick and following an attacking scrum, the excellent Dane Coles made a no-look pass to put Dagg over.
The hooker again provided the final pass to give Savea his 43rd Test try - but his first against South Africa - in the 28th minute.
Jantjies' penalty ensured the All Blacks only held a five-point advantage at half-time, but they went through the gears after the restart, extending their lead in the 49th minute when Smith finished off a sweeping counter which had been led by Barrett and Coles.
Openside flanker Savea, making his first Test start, grabbed his second try as he powered over, before Whitelock received a 15-metre pass from Coles to race over in the corner.
Replacement scrum-half Perenara capped the scoring as he took advantage of a tiring defence to scuttle over from an attacking scrum.