All Blacks captain Kieran Read saluted his team-mates after they retained the Bledisloe Cup with a clinical 36-0 win over Australia at Eden Park.

The world champions scored five tries without reply, as New Zealand made amends for last weekend's 47-26 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth.

Sonny Bill Williams, Sevu Reece and George Bridge were promoted to the starting XV and each scored a try, as Steve Hansen's 100th match in charge proved one to savour.

Read said: "It feels fantastic. A lot's been said all week and the guys really fronted. So, I'm so happy. It's a trophy that we cherish. I know the Wallabies do as well.

"We both really love playing for this cup and it showed in these two matches.

"I don't think you can expect to have a result like that, but it comes through hard work.

"The team truly believes in each other and that's what we're going to need moving forward."

His opposite number, Michael Hooper, had high hopes of becoming the first Australia skipper in 17 years to get to grips with the Bledisloe Cup trophy.

But Read it was who joyously lifted the silverware in Auckland, leaving Hooper to reflect on where the second game in the series went wrong for Australia.

Hooper said on Sky Sports: "The turnaround in seven days... they dominated all bar a few minutes of that game in all areas, they were really good at the scrum, lineout, so hats off to them.

"Our boys, we threw everything we had at them the whole game, probably let it get too far away in the end there.

"We've got a lot of heart, a lot of heart to come down here. We've had a really good week, unfortunately it didn't show out there tonight.

"But we'll rebuild. We're still rebuilding and gaining momentum.

"We'll have a couple of days off, it's going to take a toll on our bodies. We'll get back together, regroup, and see what we can learn from this game and build and get better."

Picked off in Perth, but awesome in Auckland, the All Blacks restored normal order in their Bledisloe Cup rivalry as they crushed Australia 36-0 at Eden Park.

Embarrassed by last weekend's 47-26 defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals, Steve Hansen's New Zealand restored national pride and retained their trophy with a ruthless win.

Hansen made changes, after accusing his players of producing "dumb footy" at Optus Stadium, where they lost Scott Barrett to a controversial red card.

Into the pack came Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Williams crossed for New Zealand's third try early in the second half, after scores from Richie Mo'unga and Aaron Smith had put the hosts firmly in control, and Reece bolted through for the fourth in the 67th minute - his first for the All Blacks.

Bridge applied the finishing touches with the fifth try in the 77th minute. The changes worked for Hansen, to put it mildly.

Tom Latham believes setting Sri Lanka in excess of 200 will give New Zealand a great chance of winning the first Test after BJ Watling dug in on an eventful day three in Galle.

Lasith Embuldeniya (4-71) claimed two early wickets as Sri Lanka reduced the Black Caps to 25-3 after Niroshan Dickwella (61) and Suranga Lakmal (40) got them up to 267 all out - securing a first-innings lead of 18.

Watling (63 not out) and Latham (45) made key runs as the spinners piled on the pressure with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor falling cheaply. 

The tourists were leading by 177 on 195-7 when stumps were called due to bad light on Friday and Latham thinks Sri Lanka could be up against it if Watling and the tail can hang around on day four.

"I think anything above 200, we are not too far off from that," the opening batsman said.

"The important thing for us is to come back tomorrow morning and put up those partnerships like we did today. Like Tim Southee (23), Will Somerville can help us build a partnership with BJ, who has been outstanding today.

"Hopefully we can stitch that total to make as many as possible. We know how tough it can be in the fourth innings to chase down a score.

"It's a surface where when you get in, you can score, but sometimes things happen quickly in this part of the world. This wicket is no different.

"Through the three innings we have seen wickets lost in a hurry. Hopefully we can put pressure on the Sri Lankans and the wicket keeps deteriorating and the spinners will come into play."

Dickwella is confident Sri Lanka can pull off a successful run chase if they wrap up New Zealand's second innings before too long.

"The wicket is turning but it is slow turn. Slower than what we usually get in Galle. Even if we get a target of 225 or so, I think we can chase it down." said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"Batting fourth will be tough on this wicket, no doubt, but we have a decent batting line-up. Those chasing stats are what teams have done in past.

"We're a different team and this is a different opposition. We have to play according the situation. Our batters will do the job, I feel."

A battling unbeaten half-century from BJ Watling frustrated Sri Lanka and gave New Zealand a lead of 177 at stumps on day three of the first Test in Galle.

Watling fought it out on a turning pitch and the wicketkeeper-batsman was still there on 63 when bad light brought an end to play late in the day, with the Black Caps 195-7 in their second innings.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 267 in the morning session to take a first-innings advantage of 18, Niroshan Dickwella top-scoring by reaching 61 on Friday.

Lasith Embuldeniya, who finished the day with 4-71, struck twice to put New Zealand in all sorts of early trouble on 25-3, but Watling led the recovery and Tom Latham made 45 to leave the match nicely poised.

Sri Lanka added 40 runs in the morning after resuming on 227-7, Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal (40) extending their eighth-wicket stand to 81 before William Somerville (3-83) and Trent Boult (2-45) wrapped up the innings.

Jeet Raval fell tamely chipping Dhananjaya de Silva (2-16) to Dimuth Karunaratne in the covers and Lahiru Thirimanne took a brilliant skier running back from mid-on when Kane Williamson (4) tried to hit Embuldeniya over the top.

Ross Taylor gave his wicket away too easily, charging down the track and getting nowhere near the pitch of the ball, edging Embuldeniya to De Silva at first slip for three.

Latham and Henry Nicholls steadied the innings, with opener Latham launching Embuldeniya over midwicket for six.

Akila Dananjaya ended a stand of 57 by removing Latham, and the wicket of Nicholls soon followed. The impressive Embuldeniya then reduced New Zealand to 124-6 by dismissing Mitchell Santner on the stroke of tea, but Tim Southee was dropped twice as Sri Lanka allowed the lead to grow.

Watling played with great conviction under pressure, bringing up a resilient 17th Test fifty before Embuldeniya had Southee (22) stumped, ending a seventh-wicket partnership of 54.

The composed Watling struck Lahiru Kumara for back-to-back boundaries and Somerville hung in there prior to play ending under gloomy skies.

Michael Hooper says facing New Zealand with the prospect of ending a 17-year Bledisloe Cup drought "ups the hunger" for Australia.

The Wallabies thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth last Saturday, taking full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card.

New Zealand lost their Rugby Championship title after South Africa beat Argentina later in the day and they will be looking for a first win in three Tests at Eden Park on Saturday, knowing they are in danger of slipping off the top of the rankings.

Australia have lost their last 18 Tests against the world champions, but captain Hooper is relishing the challenge of trying to get his hands on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time.

"These are the games you want to be a part of and it's even a level up again this week," the flanker said.

"You're going to a place where many a generation of Wallaby hasn't won and coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line.

"It's fantastic being on the other end and certainly ups the hunger."

Assistant coach Simon Raiwalui knows Australia face a huge challenge at the Auckland venue.

"Obviously there's a history but we've been solely focused on what's in front of us. It's all in the present," Raiwalui said.

"We're under no illusions about what we face. It's a great All Black team full of quality players and they're going to come out and they're going to be fizzing."

Kieran Read insists the Bledisloe Cup decider with Australia will provide precisely the kind of high-pressure environment New Zealand thrive in.

The All Blacks suffered a stunning 47-26 loss to their rivals in Perth last time out, marking the highest points tally they have conceded in a Test and the joint-heaviest defeat in their proud history.

That result has given the Wallabies high hopes of a first series win over New Zealand since 2002 but Read says Steve Hansen's side are ready to put the record straight at Eden Park on Saturday.

"When you put in a performance like that, you want to rectify it," the captain said.

"We've got the chance this week, that's the best thing about it. We've had a good week but it's about putting it on the field.

"These moments are built for us as All Blacks and the way you're going to respond is crucial.

"This is a mental game as much as a physical game, so it's our response mentally and building up to the game in your head [that's important]. You can't do it all on the paddock.

"This group is hurting, that's how it should be in an All Black jersey and we've got the chance to go out and rectify that and we're excited by that."

The weight of history heavily favours New Zealand this weekend, with the nation unbeaten in 25 years at Eden Park.

Australia will be out to prove their thrashing of New Zealand last weekend was no flash in the pan when they attempt to win the Bledisloe Cup for the first time in 17 years on Saturday.

The Wallabies went on to crush the All Blacks 47-26 at Optus Stadium after Scott Barrett was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Michael Hooper.

That victory was not enough for Australia to win the Rugby Championship, with South Africa taking the title for the first time in a decade by beating Argentina later in the day.

Michael Cheika's men can still get their hands on a trophy ahead of the World Cup, though, as a famous win at fortress Eden Park will see them end a long wait to lift the Bledisloe Cup.

We take a look at a selection of key Opta facts for the trans-Tasman showdown in Auckland.

 

- Australia will be out to secure consecutive wins over New Zealand for the first time since a three-match streak in 2000-01.

- New Zealand have won their last 18 Tests against Australia at Eden Park and have not lost to the Wallabies at the venue since September 1986.

- The world champion All Blacks are winless in their last two Tests, having drawn against South Africa last month, and have not endured a longer run without a victory since a five-match losing streak in July-August 1998.

- Beauden Barrett has now scored 11 tries against Australia, the joint-most of any player against a single Tier 1 nation in Test history.

- Samu Kerevi made the most offloads (six) of any player in the Rugby Championship, one more than Australia team-mate Kurtley Beale and New Zealand’s Ben Smith.

- Australia have won only two of their last 10 Tests played away from home, those victories coming against Italy in Padova and Argentina in Salta in late 2018.

Australia coach Michael Cheika has no doubt over his team's hunger to regain the Bledisloe Cup as they prepare to face New Zealand again.

Cheika's side shocked the All Blacks in Perth last weekend, claiming a 47-26 victory in the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches this year, with the return fixture taking place in Auckland on Saturday.

New Zealand's defeat saw them surrender their grip on the Rugby Championship title, while they must win at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy the Wallabies have not held since 2002.

Cheika told a news conference: "The Bledisloe Cup means a lot. It doesn't just mean a lot when you have it, it means probably more when you don't have it.

"That pursuit of trying to get it sometimes you sit off and you sort of defer it and say we'll take the game in our stride.

"But that's only hiding from the fact that we know we haven't had it for a long time and we're hungry to go there and do our best to try and take a trophy obviously.

"We know we're going to come up against an excellent opponent who is going to be ready to go as well and that's why I suppose the game is so looked forward to and anticipated."

Cheika's sentiments were echoed by Australia captain Michael Hooper.

"I said it last week, these are the games you want to be a part of and even a level up again this week for some of the stuff," Hooper said.

"It's just an amazing opportunity to be involved in. You go down to a place where many a generation of Wallabies hasn't won down there.

"You're coming up against a great New Zealand side for some silverware on the line, yeah it's fantastic being on the other receiving end and it certainly ups the hunger."

The Wallabies have just one further match ahead of the Rugby World Cup following the clash with the All Blacks, as they face Samoa in a friendly on September 7.

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel claimed a second Test five-for but Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal came to Sri Lanka's rescue as 12 wickets fell on day two of the first Test in Galle.

The excellent Akila Dananjaya (5-80) and Lakmal (4-29) wasted no time in dismissing the tourists for 249 in the morning session after they had resumed on 203-5, Ross Taylor failing to add to his overnight score of 86.

Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (53) and Angelo Mathews (50) put Sri Lanka in a promising position, but Patel (5-76) generated sharp turn as Dimuth Karunaratne's side collapsed to 161-7 losing five wickets for 18 runs.

Dickwella (39 not out) and Lakmal (28 not out) ensured the first of two Tests was finally poised at stumps, though, seeing Sri Lanka through to 227-7 - a deficit of just 22 runs.

Taylor fell off the first ball he faced on the second day edging Lakmal behind with a loose stroke, and the paceman struck again by trapping Mitchell Santner leg before.

Tim Southee came down the track to dispatch Dhananjaya de Silva over the ropes, but was run out later in the over.

Trent Boult - who had the ball lodged in his helmet after attempting a sweep - added a useful 18 before Lakmal polished off the tail as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 44 runs.

Lahiru Thirimanne gifted the Black Caps a breakthrough when he was stumped giving Patel the charge in his first over and Karunaratne could have followed in the next over from William Somerville, but Taylor put him down at first slip.

Sri Lanka took lunch on 34-1 and Karunaratne (39) looked in good touch until he was snared lbw by the probing Patel with 66 on the board.

Kusal and Matthews played positively against the spinners, hitting Somerville and Santner respectively for six as they put on 79 for the third wicket.

A lapse in concentration cost Kusal on the stroke of tea, though, the right-hander wafting at a flighted delivery from Patel immediately after reaching his half-century and offering Taylor a simple slip catch.

That sparked a collapse, with Boult getting rid of Kusal Perera and De Silva also failing before Patel secured his fifth wicket by getting one to turn away from Mathews, who edged to Taylor at slip.

Somerville sent Dananjaya on his way for a duck as the procession of wickets continued, but Dickwella and Lakmal provided much-needed resistance with an unbroken stand of 66 to give Sri Lanka a great chance of taking a first-innings lead.

Adam Coleman has replaced Rory Arnold in the only change to the Wallabies' starting side as they look to win the Bledisloe Cup against New Zealand on Saturday.

Arnold is out due to a hand injury, with Coleman set to make his first Test start of the year when Australia visit Eden Park.

The Reds' Liam Wright could make his debut off the bench, while Rob Simmons has also been named among the reserves.

The Wallabies are also boosted by the inclusion of Adam Ashley-Cooper, named for his first Test of 2019.

Australia stunned the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth and are on the verge of winning the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

However, New Zealand are unbeaten in their past 42 matches at the Auckland venue – a run that dates back to 1994 – and the Wallabies have lost 22 straight games away to their rivals.

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Reece Hodge, James O'Connor, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Christian Lealiifano, Nic White; Scott Sio, Tolu Latu, Allan Alaalatoa, Izack Rodda, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani.
Replacements: Folau Fainga'a, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Liam Wright, Will Genia, Matt To'omua, Adam Ashley-Cooper.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen has shown his ruthless side by making big changes to his team for Saturday's Bledisloe Cup redemption mission against Australia.

New Zealand were dealt a 47-26 thumping by the Wallabies last weekend in Perth, and Hansen has dropped prop Owen Franks and wings Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane for the rematch in Auckland.

He has been pressed into two further changes, with lock Scott Barrett suspended after his red card in the first game and centre Jack Goodhue injured.

Into the pack come Nepo Laulala and Patrick Tuipulotu, with the backs given a shuffle with the inclusion of George Bridge, Sonny Bill Williams and Sevu Reece.

Anton Lienert-Brown keeps his place for the Eden Park tussle but shuffles from inside to outside centre to accommodate Williams.

Head coach Hansen accused his team of playing "dumb footy" after the first game.

Ahead of the chance to avenge that heavy loss, he said: "We have worked hard this week on our game and all that comes with it. We've had a great preparation and really excited and looking forward to a massive, must-win match for the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday.

"We know that Australia will be determined and confident after their win in Perth which makes the challenge even more exciting."

With the Rugby World Cup just weeks away, Hansen wants to see a reaction from New Zealand to the joint-heaviest defeat in their history.

He said: "There's a lot of pride in the team and we've talked a lot about the Bledisloe being the second most important trophy and now we get the opportunity to show that this week - all of us working well, working hard, working smart."

Afterwards he will be able to make a judgement on whether the 15 players he fields were the right choices to handle the high-stakes occasion, or whether he needs to search again within his squad for his strongest line-up.

Hansen added, on the All Blacks website: "Australia showed they're a good side. We've got to put them under some pressure and take away the confidence they've got from playing the way they did last week.

"You've got to have a mindset that you've got to do whatever it takes to get yourself mentally and physically ready to play the game, and then you've got to walk towards that pressure and enjoy the pressure of it."

 

New Zealand team to play Australia: Beauden Barrett, Sevu Reece, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, George Bridge, Richie Mo'unga, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Nepo Laulala, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Ardie Savea, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (captain).

Replacements: Codie Taylor, Ofa Tuungafasi, Angus Ta'avao, Jackson Hemopo, Matt Todd, TJ Perenara, Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett.

Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya took a five-for for the fourth time in six Tests only for Ross Taylor to provide some New Zealand resistance on the opening day of a rain-affected first Test in Galle.

New Zealand, back in action for the first time since their thrilling Super Over loss to England in the Cricket World Cup final a month ago, won the toss and looked comfortable on 64 without loss.

However, Tom Latham (30), Kane Williamson (0) and Jeet Raval (33) all fell in quick succession as Dananjaya spun his spell, the 25-year-old then returning before tea to account for Henry Nicholls (42) and BJ Watling (1).

Ross Taylor had moved on to an unbeaten 86 by the time a torrential downpour 7.4 overs into the final session ended the day's play prematurely with New Zealand 203-5.

Dananjaya made the breakthrough when Latham dangled his bat out and nicked behind and he had the prized wicket of Williamson three balls later, the New Zealand captain meekly chipping straight to short midwicket.

The touring side were three down when Raval gave Dhananjaya de Silva a low catch at slip, but Taylor and Nicholls put on a 100-run stand to wrest the initiative back.

It was Dananjaya who broke that partnership by trapping Nicholls lbw, a decision which he frivolously appealed, and Watling went two overs later as he was pinned straight in front when attempting a wild swipe.

The fifth wicket heralded tea and the final session of the day proved brief thanks to an almighty shower, with Mitchell Santner (8 not out) due to return on day two alongside Taylor.

New Zealand lock Scott Barrett has been suspended for three weeks following his red card in last week's heavy Bledisloe Cup defeat against Australia.

Barrett was sent off prior to half-time as the All Blacks suffered their join-heaviest loss – a 47-26 Rugby Championship defeat to the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.

The 25-year-old was ordered off for a no-arms tackle on Michael Hooper at Optus Stadium, where world champions New Zealand conceded the most Test points in their history.

Barrett accepted a guilty plea on Tuesday, ruling him out of this week's second Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia in Auckland.

The ban will last up until September 1, meaning Barrett will be available for New Zealand's final Rugby World Cup warm-up against Tonga on September 7.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Stephen Cottrell, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.16," SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee chairman Adam Casselden said.
 
"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or neck must start at a mid-range level. 

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's exemplary judicial record, his expressed remorse and the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks."

"The Foul Play Review Committee adjourned the hearing to seek more evidence regarding the Player's proposed schedule of matches. Upon reconvening the Foul Play Review Committee was presented with extensive evidence demonstrating the Player's intended playing schedule."

New Zealand lock Scott Barrett has been suspended for three games following his red card in last week's heavy Bledisloe Cup defeat against Australia.

Barrett was sent off prior to half-time as the All Blacks suffered their join-heaviest loss – a 47-26 Rugby Championship defeat to the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday.

The 25-year-old was ordered off for a no-arms tackle on Michael Hooper at Optus Stadium, where world champions New Zealand conceded the most Test points in their history.

Barrett accepted a guilty plea on Tuesday, ruling him out of this week's second Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia in Auckland.

The ban will last up until September 1, meaning Barrett will be available for New Zealand's final Rugby World Cup warm-up against Tonga on September 7.

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including submissions from his legal representative, Stephen Cottrell, the Foul Play Review Committee upheld the Red Card under Law 9.16," SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee chairman Adam Casselden said.
 
"With respect to sanction the Foul Play Review Committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid-range entry point of 6 weeks due to World Rugby instructions that dictate any incident of foul play which results in contact with the head and/or neck must start at a mid-range level. 

"However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player's exemplary judicial record, his expressed remorse and the fact the Player has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity, the Foul Play Review Committee reduced the suspension to 3 weeks."

"The Foul Play Review Committee adjourned the hearing to seek more evidence regarding the Player's proposed schedule of matches. Upon reconvening the Foul Play Review Committee was presented with extensive evidence demonstrating the Player's intended playing schedule."

Eddie Jones hit out at World Rugby over a "ridiculous" red card shown to New Zealand's Scott Barrett and allayed injury concerns over Tom Curry after England's Rugby World Cup warm-up win over Wales.

England ended Grand Slam winners Wales' run of 14 consecutive victories with a 33-19 triumph at Twickenham on Sunday.

Tries from Billy Vunipola, Joe Cokanasiga and Luke Cowan-Dickie and a perfect kicking display from stand-in captain George Ford prevented a strong Wales side from replacing New Zealand at the top of the rankings.

It was events in Perth a day earlier that Jones was more keen to discuss, taking aim at the governing body for Jerome Garces' dismissal of All Black Barrett.

Barrett was ordered off for a no-arms tackle on Michael Hooper in Australia's Bledisloe Cup victory over the world champions.

"I thought there was an issue with the referee [Mathieu Raynal in England's win]. We saw a red card yesterday which affected the game, and potentially I think we need to get some consistency in that area of the game." said the England head coach.

"In the World Cup, if you lose a player to a red card - as New Zealand did yesterday - it makes the game very difficult.

"We saw two instances today when that could have happened, and I urge World Rugby – though I don't think they do anything at great pace – to get some consistency in that area.

"Otherwise, we are going to have games that are being destroyed by an inconsistent official making a decision on a law that is not clear."

Asked about Barrett's punishment, Jones said: "I thought it was ridiculous. A bloke gets tackled, he goes to be in as second man and his shoulder hits the head and gets a red card.

"We cannot have that in the game, there has to be some common sense applied. Maybe common sense was applied today really well, but what I'm saying is that we need to have some consistency in common sense. It's important for the game, really important for the game."

Jones had more positive words to say on flanker Curry, who was withdrawn in the first half with a shoulder injury the day before England's World Cup squad is announced.

The Australian said: "He's got a bit of an AC joint, we don't feel it’s too serious. I thought he was absolutely outstanding, he's worked really hard in the off-season to make himself a bit bigger and a bit more dynamic - we'll see a lot more of him."

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