New Zealand won the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday with a record 57-22 victory over Australia in a bitter and deadly encounter at Eden Park in Auckland.
In a white-hot atmosphere with crushing tackles echoing to the ground, the All Blacks scored eight tries against three to post their best ever score against the Wallabies.
The All Blacks’ points included two impressive long-distance interception tries, and Damian McKenzie was saddled with a monster 57-yard (62-yard) penalty.
The Wallabies had vowed to take an aggressive approach and the All Blacks said they would fight fire with fire. In the 25th minute, referee Brendon Pickerill had to warn both sides to eliminate the ball problem.
New Zealand led 21-15 at halftime, then opened with five more tries and McKenzie’s booming penalty as it rained in the second half.
With the victory, they won the Bledisloe Cup for a 19th consecutive year, made a winning debut in the rugby championship and extended their unbeaten run at Eden Park to 46 appearances.
They have also dashed the hopes of frustrated Wallabies fans on a ground where Australia have failed to win in 22 tests since 1986.
The All Blacks’ previous high score on Australia was 54-34 in Sydney in 2017.
The ability of the All Blacks full-backs to push their way through the Wallabies was a key difference, with the Australians enjoying the best of forward trading in the first half.
The injection of Lachie Swinton and Matt Philip added some much needed steel to the Wallabies and they mastered the lineups and scrums where the All Blacks had dominated a week ago.
– One-way traffic –
This left both sides with a lot of work to do as they traveled to Australia for the third dead rubber test in Perth and with Covid travel restrictions, the All Blacks are unlikely to be back in New Zealand before. December.
After a sold-out crowd of 47,000 watched a sub-par All Blacks with the first test, only 25,000 showed up for the rematch and they barely had time to sit down when Rieko Ioane intercepted a cut pass from Noah Lolesio and ran the length of the field to score.
The Wallabies responded immediately with Andrew Kellaway bypassing McKenzie for the first of his two tries.
Brodie Retallick scored the All Blacks’ second goal in the last 25 minutes to complete a move started by David Havili at the other end of the field.
Lolesio, who had a better night with the boot than last week, gave a penalty to keep the Wallabies in touch and in the halftime countdown, Ardie Savea scored for the All Blacks with the running back. Tate McDermott live scrimmage touching for the Wallabies.
After the restart, it was all one-sided as Codie Taylor scored twice, Sevu Reece added his runaway try from another wayward cutoff from the Wallabies and Will Jordan also scored.
The All Blacks had taken a 50-15 lead before the Wallabies were once again able to score points on the board on Kellaway’s second try.
New Zealand, determined not to fade away like they did in the first test, ended the game with Havili scoring their eighth try.
© 2021 AFP