All Blacks crush Wallabies to retain Bledisloe Cup for 19th straight year

Record 57-22 win in Auckland marks perfect start to Rugby Championship

The All Blacks overpowered Australia 57-22 in Auckland on Saturday to ensure the Bledisloe Cup stays in New Zealand for a 19th straight season and make a winning start to the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks scored eight tries to three to post their highest ever score over the Wallabies at Eden Park in Auckland. Hooker Codie Taylor scored twice and Rieko Ioane, Brodie Retallick, Ardie Savea, Sevu Reece, Will Jordan and David Havili also grabbed tries as the hosts earned a bonus point.

The tourists were still in the game at 21-15 down at halftime, but five tries in the second half secured the All Blacks their 22nd straight victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park in a streak stretching back to 1986.

Centre Havili's try after the fulltime hooter gave the All Blacks their highest points tally in 118 years of Tests between the two countries, bettering the 54 points they scored to defeat the Wallabies in Sydney four years ago.

Australia, who needed a win to keep the three-match Bledisloe Cup series alive after a 33-25 defeat last week, scored three tries through a brace from winger Andrew Kellaway and a Tate McDermott effort but fell apart towards the end.

"Felt like we battled away in the first half but it was really nice that we got some dominance and put points on the board," All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock said.

"Sure there's always things to work on, but if you'd offered me a win at the start tonight, I'd have been happy, so really, really happy."

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was more worried about the poor decision making.

"We've got to keep building on our attack and then it's our ability to make smart decisions and play what's in front of us. That's an area that we need a lot of development," Rennie said.

"Everything falls back on me. We went in with a plan and we can't execute that plan. We'll seriously look at what we're doing.

"In the end, the players are implementing what we're trying to put on the park so clearly we'll take responsibility for it."

Savea was shown a yellow card two minutes after the break as the home side defended well, but a crooked lineout throw relieved the pressure and by the time the loose forward returned New Zealand had scored 10 unanswered points.

"We didn't capitalise on that yellow card at all," said Australia skipper Michael Hooper. "In fact New Zealand really put us to the sword there and showed their class.

"We didn't respect the ball, couple of intercept tries ... you do that against a team like New Zealand and they capitalise. We didn't stay in the fight long enough."

Updated: August 14th 2021, 3:08 PM
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