All Blacks swamp Australia in big win in Sydney

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Lynn McConnell     21 Aug 2016     Getty Images

All the talk in Australia before the game had been about the loss of experience the All Blacks had suffered but the gaps weren't obvious in this pressure-driven display which had the All Blacks up 32-3 at half-time.


It would take a massive turnaround in form in Wellington for the second Bledisloe Cup game next weekend to give the Australians any hope of securing the trophy this year after their record losing margin in Sydney against the All Blacks.

Playing at a tempo with which the Australians, even with their lightweight loose forwards tactic, couldn't compete, the All Blacks forced mistakes consistently to deny the home side a sniff of a try until the 74th minute. Even then it took New Zealand to lose skipper Kieran Read to the sin-bin to give them the opportunity.

The display of first five-eighths Beauden Barrett was outstanding and had much to do with the tempo New Zealand were able to play at. He had great support from flankers Sam Cane and Jerome Kaino while Read led from the front.

Australia tried variation at re-starts but the All Blacks were unfazed and then at vital Australian lineout throws the All Blacks were also able to secure the ball, seemingly at will. At one stage midway through the first half on getting deep into New Zealand territory, the Australians conceded the ball and New Zealand cleared the ball, running it out from their own line.

Bernard Foley landed a third minute penalty goal but that was the last time Australia enjoyed the lead as two minutes later second five-eighths Matt Giteau failed to find touch and the All Blacks ran the ball back.

Superb timing, right through the line, with special touches from centre Malakai Fekitoa and Read putting second five-eighths Ryan Crotty along the left sideline to run in the first try.
The situation could have been worse had a 19th minute try to lock Brodie Retallick been awarded but in a madcap piece of play with turnovers and chargedowns, wing Ben Smith was ruled to have been in front of the chargedown from which he secured the ball.

However, it didn't matter, as Barrett kicked the second of two penalty goals two minutes later and as Australia looked to build an attack, they conceded the lineout 10m out from New Zealand's line. Then, when New Zealand cleared to close to halfway, courtesy of Aaron Smith's clearance, the ball was stolen again and Barrett was able to cover a backline move and take a key inside pass from Read to find a gap and run in a basic try.

Six minutes later eKaino charged down a Foley midfield kick and calmly waited for the bounce before taking the ball and scoring as Foley desperately tried to stop him.

Just before halftime left wing Waisake Naholo found himself on the right wing where he made good another turnover orchestrated by Aaron Smith and Read to get the ball to Barrett. He raced through a gap and then turned the ball back to a flying Naholo and he out-striped the defence with ease, but pulled a hamstring just before he scored.

It had been a diabolical half for injuries on both sides. The All Blacks lost hooker Codie Taylor, an early victim to concussion, while Naholo departed at half-time. Australia lost Matt Giteau to an ankle injury then his replacement Matt Toomua was lost to concussion and then another replacement Robb Horne suffered a bad shoulder injury.

It took time for the All Blacks to regain their tempo in the second half and while they were most often in control, the gaps didn't start appearing until the 56th minute when Australian centre Tevita Kuridrani dropped the ball in midfield where his opposite Malakati Fekitoa picked up and was caught just short of the line. But from the ruck the ball was moved wide where replacement hooker Dane Coles scored.

Then from the re-start New Zealand moved the ball to the left flank and with replacement prop Kane Hames laying on a perfect pass to replacement wing Julian Savea, the big wing powered his way along the sideline to score his 40th Test try.

Scorers: Australia 8 (Nick Phillps try; Bernard Foley pen) All Blacks 42 (Ryan Crotty, Beauden Barrett, Jerome Kaino, Waisake Naholo, Dane Coles, Julian Savea tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 3-32