All Blacks add world record to season's achievements

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Lynn McConnell     22 Oct 2016     Getty Images

The quality of the win, coming after conceding a high proportion of possession and position, made the achievement of the tier one nations of 18 Test wins all the more impressive because of the relentless drive of the New Zealanders.


Once again it was their ability to come through in the final quarter that marked the difference. And when that happened wing Julian Savea unleashed a withering display of running, his best for many Tests, to score two tries and set up a third.

But it came on the back of some outstanding work through the earlier stages. Flankers Jerome Kaino and Matt Todd were outstanding in some of their tackles while Todd was also effective over the ball and captain Kieran Read called the shots impressively. All of the pack were put through the mill by the determined Australians.

When the replacements came on it was a turnover achieved by prop Wyatt Crockett that unleashed the biggest roar from the crowd as he set Savea away on another powerful burst which ended when he was brought down short of the line where hooker Dane Coles was on hand to polish off the move.

Australia started at a hectic pace looking to bludgeon the New Zealand defenders from the start with some belligerence but a missed penalty goal from straight in front by first five-eighths Bernard Foley seemed to knock their confidence. New Zealand immediately launched an assault with clean breaks by centre Anton Lienert-Brown and fullback Ben Smith having immediate effect and seeing wing Israel Dagg across in the fifth minute for the opening try.
Four minutes later a controlled release from a maul saw second five-eighths Ryan Crotty receive the ball from halfback TJ Perenara. With the defence on him he unleashed a quick pass which Australian centre Samu Kerevi attempt the intercept only to leave room for Lienert-Brown to win the sprint to the line.

The All Blacks lost their momentum after a series of mid-field scrums where Australia were unable to heel the ball with three re-sets before the ball was moved along the blindside. With some continuity Australia made ground through wing Dane Haylett-Petty and second five-eighths Reece Hodge and from the ruck the ball emerged for lock Rory Arnold to scramble over the line for Australia's opening try in the 27th minute.

Another scrum just inside the Australian 22m was cleared slowly and Perenara set himself to follow the ball and in the process was able to charge down Hodge's attempted clearance on the openside, and then win the touchdown.

The early stages of the second half were dominated by controversy. Firstly, after 45 minutes a try to wing Henry Speight was ruled out after Haylett-Petty was ruled to have obstructed wing Julian Savea as he was attempting to chase Speight.

And then two minutes later at the other end of the field Coles was edged in the race for a try by Foley who won a hairline decision.

Australia continued to dominate possession and the defences were sorely tested as some big hits were made.Australia looked to push the boundaries. They had Foley miss a second easy penalty goal chance on the night and then lost ball provided a chance for fullback Ben Smith who raced onto a pick-up, made ground and then kicked ahead.

Initially, it appeared replacement first five-eighths Aaron Cruden would be in the gun for the chase, but Savea flew through from the mid-field took the ball and blasted out of the tackle before heading behind the goalposts for the try.

Apart from their world record, New Zealand now have a winning streak of 36 Tests at Eden Park and among that record it has beaten Australia 14 times, France, South Africa and England (four times each), Ireland (3), Scotland (2), Canada, the British and Irish Lions, Argentina, Tonga and Wales (once each).

Only once, in the World Cup final in 2011, have the All Blacks scored less than 20 points.

The win is the 45th victory in a streak at home since their loss to South Africa in Hamilton in 2009.

Since the turn of the 21st Century, the All Blacks have played 100 Tests at home and the win over Australia gives them 93 wins.

Scorers: New Zealand 37 (Israel Dagg 2, Anton Lienert-Brown, TJ Perenara, Julian Savea 2, Dane Coles tries; Aaron Cruden 2 con, pen) Australia 10 ( Rory Arnold tries; Bernard Foley con, pen). HT: 15-7