New Zealand All Blacks earn record-equaling 17th win

New Zealand's Israel Dagg scored twice as the All Blacks earned a record-equaling 17th consecutive win.

Story highlights

  • New Zealand beats South Africa 57-15
  • All Blacks earn record-equaling 17th straight Test win
  • Kiwis cleansweep Rugby Championship
  • NZ host Australia on Oct. 22

(CNN)A scintillating record win against South Africa put the All Blacks on the brink of history -- New Zealand can secure its status as the most dominant major rugby side ever with an 18th straight Test victory later this month.

The world champion produced a masterclass in a record nine-try 57-15 rout of South Africa in Durban to equal the record for a top-tier nation of 17 consecutive Test wins, a mark it already shared with South Africa.
    Steve Hansen's New Zealanders had already sealed the southern hemisphere's Rugby Championship tournament with two games left but the triumph against South Africa gave them a six-match cleansweep.
    New Zealand, which has won the last two Rugby World Cups, first achieved the feat between 1965 and 1969, while Nick Mallett's Springboks equaled it in 1997/98. The All Blacks again notched 17 consecutive wins between 2013 and 2014.
    Officially, Cyprus holds the overall record with 24 consecutive Test wins - achieved between 2008 and 2014, while Lithuania is another smaller nation with 17 consecutive Test wins (2006-2010)
    The All Blacks edged into a 12-9 half-time lead with a try from wing Israel Dagg and a controversial score from TJ Perenara, who looked to have spilled the ball before gathering and touching down just before the break. Brodie Retallick also had a try disallowed.

    Rampant

    In the second half, winger Dagg and fly-half Beauden Barrett took the tally to four tries before Perenara, in for the disgraced Aaron Smith, polished off a stunning move for a fifth.
    By now the All Blacks were rampant and the pacy Barrett scored his second with a break from the halfway line before Codie Taylor rumbled over in a powerful forward effort.
    Full-back Ben Smith and replacement forward Liam Squire also touched down to add the polish on a commanding performance.
    South Africa could only manage five penalties from Morne Steyn as they slumped to their biggest ever margin of defeat on home soil.
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    The victory was welcome relief from the midweek controversy when scrum-half Smith was handed a one-match ban for a rendezvous with a woman in an airport toilet in Christchurch last month.
    The All Blacks play Australia in the third and final match of the Bledisloe Cup series between the two nations at Eden Park, Auckland, on Oct. 22 in the final round of the Rugby Championship. New Zealand has not lost at that ground since defeat by France in 1994.
    But coach Steve Hansen is warning that Australia will be tough opponents as his team bids for that record 18th win.
    "I wouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves," Hansen said in remarks reported by AFP.
    "If we're going to go one step further we've got to make sure we prepare really well. Australia are a good rugby side.
    "They've got a history of turning up when there's a record on the table."