Australia’s run of outs at Eden Park has continued, with New Zealand recording a convincing 27-7 victory in the second Bledisloe Cup Test in Auckland.
- The Wallabies have now lost 20 consecutive Tests against the All Blacks at Eden Park
- The All Blacks recorded four tries to one and kept the Wallabies scoreless in the second half
- The two teams will meet again on Australian soil as part of the upcoming three-nation tournament, which also involves Argentina
The Wallabies have not beaten the All Blacks at the venue since 1986 and the visitors backed their chances of snapping the losing streak following their spirited display in last weekend’s pulsating 16-16 draw in Wellington.
But the All Blacks were in a different class for much of the contest at Eden Park, scoring four tries to one to edge closer to retaining the Bledisloe Cup, which they have held since 2003.
After holding a slender 10-7 lead at half-time, the All Blacks scored three tries in the second term and kept the Wallabies scoreless on the way to their 20th straight victory over their trans-Tasman rival at Eden Park.
The All Blacks and Wallabies will meet again in two Tests in Sydney (October 31) and Brisbane (November 7) in what is a revamped Rugby Championship tournament following the withdrawal of South Africa.
Both sides will also play Argentina in the three-nation competition.
The All Blacks, stung by a poor effort in the Bledisloe Cup opener, came into Sunday’s Test in Auckland with more venom.
Veteran hooker Dane Coles bristled with energy and the return of Beauden Barrett from injury injected penetrative pace.
But the undoubted star was winger Caleb Clarke, who showed Jonah Lomu-like skills and strength as he bulldozed the Wallabies defence time and again to announce himself as a future star in the making.
Clarke, whose father Eroni played for the All Blacks, was so impressive he left the field to a standing ovation with 12 minutes remaining in the match.
The All Blacks did a great job protecting five-eighth Richie Mo’unga after he was ruffled by the Wallabies’ defence in Wellington.
They used skip passes to Jack Goodhue and Barrett also stepped into first receiver role.
After a Mo’unga penalty, it was Goodhue running at first receiver in the 23rd minute that led to the All Blacks’ first try.
Goodhue powered to within a metre of the line and Aaron Smith scooted around from the base of the ruck to score.
Ned Hanigan was a strong addition to the Wallabies’ starting XV and they struck back just on the half-hour mark when the blindside flanker broke through an attempted tackle by Joe Moody.
Moody was left face down on the turf after being knocked out when his head smacked into Hanigan’s hip.
Hanigan burst clear to give the Wallabies vital field position and they capitalised through Marika Koroibete scoring in the left corner.
The Wallabies were dealt a blow from the ensuing kick-off when Matt To’omua appeared to strain a hip flexor while making a clearing kick and he was replaced by Jordan Petaia.
Leading by three points at half-time, the All Blacks started the second term with a try-scoring blitz.
Within three minutes of the resumption, Jordie Barrett crossed after Mo’unga and Goodhue combined to create an overlap against a flat-footed Wallabies defence.
The match was effectively over three minutes later when Clarke — with a mix of raw power and savvy footwork — smashed through five would-be tacklers to create the space for number eight Ardie Savea to bust past the remnants of the Wallabies’ broken defence.
With the All Blacks leading 20-7, the Wallabies had appeared to grab one try back when hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa crawled over the line from a rolling maul deep inside opposition territory.
But following the intervention of the TMO, Paenga-Amosa was judged to have promoted the ball illegally across the line and the All Blacks were awarded a penalty.
All Blacks skipper Same Cane scored the fourth and final try in the 53rd minute, with Mo’unga adding the conversion to close out the scoring for the afternoon.