Brilliant All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup in style

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Coach Ian Foster had plenty to be delighted about for, apart from the rewards of success, the All Blacks were given a different type of game by an Australian team that couldn't buy any luck, suffering two yellow cards, the loss of both tighthead props and lost chances, especially during a determined third quarter.

Their inability to convert their possession into points was down to All Black defiance and their ability to win some critical goal-line turnovers.

Up 19-7 at halftime, they had to wait until Australia lost their second tighthead prop Taniela Tupou after he carried on having suffered a leg injury before finally succumbing to a rib injury.

However, soon after he was replaced, the TMO found he had committed an illegal tackle on All Blacks replacement prop Nepo Laulala. It proved a decisive call for the All Blacks as Tupou's replacement Angus Bell, who had returned to the field, had to leave due to the yellow card ruling.

That allowed the All Blacks to enter the Australian 22m for the first time in the second half. They used a long lineout throw to second five-eighths Jordie Barrett, which saw the ball propelled closer to the line and out on the left flank from a ruck. Replacement wing Caleb Clarke got low to drive over for the try from his first touch of the ball.

Six minutes later, more sustained pressure created a chance for the backs to show their stuff with Will Jordan, who had moved from wing to fullback, throwing a lovely pass to Mark Telea, who had moved from the left to the right wing to score.

Then from the restart, centre Rieko Ioane drove the restart ball to set in train an All Blacks move that sent play immediately back into Australia's 22m. Scott Barrett emphasised his outstanding contribution to the performance with a great carry, including a sidestep, before linking with replacement five-eighths Anton Lienert-Brown who carried the ball deep into the 22m.

When the ball was moved right, Ioane's long pass found Telea, who stepped Australia's wing, Marika Koroibete, before returning the ball inside to Ioane to score.

Scott Barrett's night started with a thumping goal-line tackle from an Australian short lineout on their line. He took halfback Tate McDermott ball and all, forcing the ball from his hands, allowing flanker Shannon Frizell to touch the ball down for the simplest of tries.

But two minutes later, Australian wing Mark Nawaqanitawase made a break across the front of the All Blacks goalposts allowing the Wallabies to mount some charges at the line. It was No8 Rob Valetini who got over, although it was only after a try in the corner for Koroibete was ruled out, and the earlier effort was reviewed by the TMO.

The All Blacks looked to take the forwards on up front with several drives at the line, an option that was only ended when Koroibete played the ball at the back of the All Blacks' ruck. He was penalised, and Telea took a quick tap and got over the line. However, a TMO check ruled he hadn't kicked the ball forward.

In the wash-up, Koroibete was sin-binned, and Australia was awarded a scrum which allowed first five-eighths Carter Gordon to clear the line.

The All Blacks turned to the pack with some vigorous pounding of the Australian defences. Scott Barrett was outstanding. Time after time, he thundered into the defences with ball security allowing others to batter on, and when the ball was released, the backs maintained the rhythm. The pack went to work when a 33rd-minute attack on the left flank ended with Australia knocking a high ball out.

From the lineout, the ball was driven at the line where hooker Codie Taylor had reward for his ball-carrying efforts earlier by scoring his 20th Test try.

Gordon failed to send the restart 10m, and Australia suffered a blow from the resulting scrum when prop and captain Allan Alaalatoa suffered an ankle injury that required him to be assisted from the field. The All Blacks, with halftime looming, took the ball into the Australian 22m area and mounted a ferocious assault that lasted 21 phases before the ball was moved with first five-eighths Richie Mo'unga lobbing a ball to Jordan for him to work his magic in scoring his 23rd Test try.

Scorers: Australia 7 (Rob Valentini tries; Carter Gordon con) New Zealand 38 (Shannon Frizell, Codie Taylor, Will Jordan, Caleb Clarke, Mark Telea, Rieko Ioane tries; Richie Mo'unga 4 con). HT: 7-19


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