New Zealand take giant step towards Rugby Championship after thrashing Australia

Wallabies are crushed 40-14 at Eden Park

The All Blacks celebrate during their Rugby Championship victory against Australia at Eden Park on September 24, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. Getty
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New Zealand put one hand on the Rugby Championship trophy with a convincing 40-14 victory over Australia in their Bledisloe Cup clash in Auckland.

The result on Saturday meant South Africa must beat Argentina by more than 40 points later in the day to pip them.

The All Blacks now lead the table by five points with a points difference 39 better than that of the Springboks.

Australia had started the day with a chance of taking the title themselves but they were unable to repeat the performance of their narrow – and controversial – loss to the All Blacks last week.

Ill-discipline repeatedly undermined the Wallabies’ cause at a venue, Eden Park, where they had not won since 1986.

Jed Holloway was sin-binned for a bad tackle on Dalton Papalii with just two minutes on the clock and, although they held out with 14 men initially, they trailed 17-0 by the break.

Richie Mo’unga opened the scoring with a 20th-minute penalty and converted after Will Jordan followed with a fine try.

Australia then conceded a penalty try before half-time after an indiscretion during a rolling maul and Dave Porecki became their second player to be shown a yellow card.

New Zealand tightened their grip in the second half as Sam Whitelock went over from close range and Codie Taylor also crossed. Mo’unga converted one of them and added a penalty.

Australia finally got on the scoreboard through Folau Fainga’a but Samisoni Taukei’aho responded for the All Blacks and Mo’unga landed another penalty.

Jordan Petaia scored an Australia consolation in stoppage time.

Updated: September 24, 2022, 2:22 PM