Ruthless All Blacks win Bledisloe Cup for 18th year - in pictures
Wallabies are beaten by a record margin of 43-5 in Sydney
A clinical All Blacks won the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th straight year in record-breaking style on Saturday, crushing a young Australian team 43-5 to reinforce their trans-Tasman dominance.
After winning 27-7 in Auckland, which followed a tense 16-16 draw in Wellington, they accomplished their mission in Sydney by their biggest ever winning margin against the Wallabies, with one match of the series to go next week.
Fly-half Richie Mo'unga bagged 23 points to ensure bragging rights went to New Zealand coach Ian Foster, who like his opposite number Dave Rennie is in charge for his first Bledisloe Cup tournament.
"It's more than a relief, it's exciting," said All Blacks captain Sam Cane.
"It's a lot of feelings but I'm just really proud of the group and excited about what's ahead."
While the match was the third Bledisloe fixture, it was also the first of the Tri-Nations also featuring Argentina – rebranded from the Rugby Championship after world champions South Africa pulled out.
In front of just 25,000 fans at a wet ANZ Stadium, less than the 38,000 allowed under coronavirus rules, the All Blacks overwhelmed the Wallabies in a breathless first half that saw two yellow cards, four tries and two disallowed tries.
Australia were fortunate to only be down 26-0 at the break and there was no way back for Rennie's men despite lifting their game in the second stanza.
While the Wallabies cut down on missed tackles, the All Blacks were physically too strong and again exposed the frailties of the hosts' defensive wall.
And the Wallabies badly missed the calming presence of experienced backs Matt To'omua and James O'Connor, who were both out with injuries.
"We're hurting a lot from that," said Wallabies captain Michael Hooper.
It was the first time since 2009 the All Blacks had wrapped up the Bledisloe series on Australian soil and proved sweet revenge for their last game in Australia, when they were thrashed 47-26 in Perth.
Updated: October 31, 2020 04:18 PM