A ruthless All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th straight year in record-breaking style on Saturday, blitzing a young Australian team 43-5 to reinforce their trans-Tasman dominance.
AS IT HAPPENED | Wallabies v All Blacks
27-7 in Auckland, which followed a tense 16-16 draw in Wellington, they
accomplished their mission in Sydney by their biggest ever winning
margin against the Wallabies, with one match of the series to go next
Flyhalf Richie Mo’unga bagged 23 points to ensure bragging
rights went to New Zealand coach Ian Foster, who like his opposite
number Dave Rennie is in charge for his first Bledisloe Cup tournament.
more than a relief, it’s exciting,” said All Blacks captain Sam Cane,
adding that the team would celebrate with “a few fizzies”.
“It’s a lot of feelings but I’m just really proud of the group and excited about what’s ahead.”
the match was the third Bledisloe fixture, it was also the first of the
Tri Nations also featuring Argentina – rebranded from the Rugby
Championship after world champions South Africa pulled out.
front of just 25 000 fans at a wet ANZ Stadium, less than the 38 000
allowed under coronavirus rules, the All Blacks overwhelmed the
Wallabies in a breathless first half that saw two yellow cards, four
tries and two disallowed tries.
A ragged Australia was fortunate
to only be down 26-0 at the break and there was no way back for Rennie’s
men despite lifting their game in the second stanza.
Wallabies cut down on missed tackles, New Zealand were physically too
strong and again exposed the frailties of Australia’s defensive wall.
the hosts badly missed the calming presence of experienced backs Matt
To’omua and James O’Connor, who were both out with injuries.
“We’re hurting a lot from that,” said Wallabies captain Michael Hooper.
a hit to the confidence now. We’re going to go look back at sticking to
our game plan, we got out on the field and we changed direction.”
opening 10 minutes was action-packed with Filipo Daugunu yellow-carded
for tackling All Blacks dangerman Caleb Clarke in the air.
Australia paid the price with New Zealand prop Karl Tu’inukuafe powering over for his maiden Test try on four minutes.
Barrett joined Daugunu on the sidelines for elbowing Wallabies fullback
Dane Haylett-Petty in the face, before All Blacks hooker Dane Coles had
a try disallowed on review for a knock on.
The Wallabies were
desperately defending and only a top-class tackle from Marika Koroibete
on the line prevented Clarke stretching New Zealand’s lead.
But the All Blacks were red-hot and Mo’unga scored a brilliant individual try, beating three players, to pile more pressure on.
then bagged another, sprinting almost half the length of the field
after Beauden Barrett’s sublime chip, before Coles finally got the try
he deserved after a superb rolling maul.
Australia looked dejected
stomping off at half-time but Rennie’s pep talk appeared to work and
they were far more disciplined at the start of the second period.
in a hopeful sign for the future, 20-year-old debutant Noah Lolesio
romped over for a try a minute after the restart following a
barnstorming run from Jordan Petaia, who is also 20.
slowed down in heavy conditions and after several botched Australian
attacks, man-of-the match Mo’unga booted a penalty and Reiko Ioane
darted over for their fifth try.
Jordie Barrett rubbed salt in their wounds with another try as the clock ticked down.
was the first time since 2009 the All Blacks had wrapped up the
Bledisloe series on Australian soil and proved sweet revenge for their
last game in Australia, when they were walloped 47-26 in Perth.
Saturday’s result beats the previous record of 37 points – achieved in 1996 when the All Blacks beat the Wallabies 43-6 in Wellington in the first ever Tri Nations match.
Try: Noah Lolesio
Tries: Karl Tu’inukuafe, Richie Mo’unga (2), Dane Coles, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett
Conversions: Mo’unga (5)
15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Jordan Petaia, 12 Irae Simone, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Harry Wilson, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Matt Philip, 4 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 James Slipper
Substitutes: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Reece Hodge, 23 Hunter Paisami
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Jordie Barrett, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Jack Goodhue, 11 Caleb Clarke, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Hoskins Sotutu, 7 Sam Cane (captain), 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Karl Tu’inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Dalton Papalii, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Reiko Ioane