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."

South Africa may have just won the Rugby Championship, but history is against them when it comes to completing a double at this year's World Cup.

In the previous five years when there has been both a Rugby Championship – or its previous incarnation the Tri Nations – and a World Cup, the champions of the first tournament have failed to also deliver success on the global stage.

The Springboks have the chance to make history in Japan, then. They lifted the first of two possible trophies in style on Saturday, thrashing Argentina 46-13 on the road to dethrone New Zealand as champions. 

We take a look at those who have conquered the Southern Hemisphere in the past, only to fall short at the World Cup.

 

1999: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – AUSTRALIA

The All Blacks won the first two Tri Nations and made it three in four years by thrashing South Africa 28-0, beating Australia 34-15 and claiming another victory over the Springboks.

However, a 28-7 loss to the Wallabies in the final fixture suggested New Zealand were not so invincible...

At the World Cup, the great Jonah Lomu scored eight tries yet France stunned New Zealand 43-31 in the last four, with Australia then winning the final against Les Bleus.

2003: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – ENGLAND

Four wins out of four delivered another Tri Nations triumph for New Zealand.

The All Blacks scored 282 points in their four World Cup pool games in Australia too before easing past South Africa 29-9 in the quarter-finals.

But Elton Flatley's accuracy from the tee consigned New Zealand to another semi-final loss and sent Australia back to the final, where Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal in Sydney delivered a famous success for England.

2007: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND, WORLD CUP WINNERS – SOUTH AFRICA

Neither Australia nor South Africa could deny the All Blacks another Tri Nations title in 2007, though it was a Northern Hemisphere nation who would stop their run at the World Cup.

New Zealand led 13-3 in the first half of their quarter-final against France only to suffer another knockout loss to their World Cup nemesis as Yannick Jauzion scored a brilliant converted try 11 minutes from time to seal a 20-18 success.

Defending champions England beat France in the semi-final but Percy Montgomery won the battle of the boots with Wilkinson in the final as South Africa secured their second World Cup.

2011: TRI NATIONS WINNERS – AUSTRALIA, WORLD CUP WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND

In the final Tri Nations before Argentina joined to form the Rugby Championship, Graham Henry's team lost their last two matches as Australia triumphed for the first time in a decade.

The World Cup was hosted in New Zealand and after years of being the nearly men, it was the All Blacks' turn to taste global glory again.

France were their final opponents and, in a tense, low-scoring contest, New Zealand won 8-7.

2015: RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS – AUSTRALIA, WORLD CUP WINNERS – NEW ZEALAND

Four years ago, Australia beat the other three nations to win the Rugby Championship, and came out on top of a World Cup pool that included Wales and hosts England.

The Wallabies narrowly saw off Scotland 35-34 and ousted Argentina 29-15 to set up a final with a New Zealand side that had hammered France 62-13 in the last eight.

No team had ever retained the World Cup before but Dan Carter shone on his international farewell to ensure Steve Hansen's side lifted the Webb Ellis Cup again.

Michael Cheika was "pumped" after Australia crushed New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener but warned: "All we’ve done is bought a ticket to Auckland."

The Wallabies have not lifted the Bledisloe Cup for 17 years, but they have a great opportunity to end that drought after thrashing their trans-Tasman rivals 47-26 in Perth on Saturday.

Reece Hodge scored two of Australia's six tries and Scott Barrett was sent off on the stroke of half-time after being deemed to have shoulder-charged Michael Hooper in an emphatic win at Optus Stadium.

Head coach Cheika challenged his players to pull off a repeat when they do battle with the world champions at Eden Park next Saturday.

Cheika said: "Pride is something I always have in these players. It was some game because there was plenty of action.

"When you get that atmosphere brewing it makes you want to do better and play better. A few things went our way but I was really pleased for the lads, they have been working hard. It's a nice little reward for them."

He added: "I know we're all pumped but at the end of the day all we've done is bought a ticket to Auckland, that's it.

"Great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things we've got a ticket to go there and take the opportunity we're going to get given there."

Cheika knows facing Steve Hansen's side without home advantage will be a very different proposition.

"We're trying to work out how we can get around obstacles in games and not lose our way there when obstacles occur. We got through a few tonight and there will be a few presented to us next week as well.

"We won't have this big Perth crowd behind us but we'll go with the fact there is a lot of camaraderie in the team. We'll do our absolute best to get it done."

New Zealand suffered the joint-heaviest loss in their history on Saturday as Australia thumped the All Blacks 47-26 in Perth.

Michael Cheika's side took full advantage of Scott Barrett's red card on the stroke of half-time, with the Wallabies ending a run of six successive Rugby Championship defeats against the All Blacks in style.

The loss ensured New Zealand will not win the tournament for the first time in four years, while they could also relinquish their grip on the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 2002.

Here, we take a look at the heaviest defeats in the All Blacks' history.

AUSTRALIA 47-26 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 10, 2019

The All Blacks were only one point behind when Barrett was dismissed in the 40th minute for an apparent shoulder charge on Michael Hooper at Optus Stadium.

Australia scored six tries against the 14 men, Reece Hodge adding to his first-half effort while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also went over.

The 47 points are the most New Zealand have ever conceded, surpassing the 46 South Africa put up 19 years earlier.

AUSTRALIA 28-7 NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 28, 1999

Unlike Saturday's try-fest, the Wallabies only ran in one five-pointer through Mark Connors the last time they beat New Zealand by 21 points.

It was Matt Burke's boot that proved the difference in the Tri Nations clash as he converted seven penalties, while the All Blacks were restricted to a lone score from Andrew Mehrtens.

New Zealand still won the tournament but Australia's victory meant they did retain the Bledisloe Cup.

SOUTH AFRICA 17-0 NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 30, 1928

Twenty-five years after their inaugural Test, the All Blacks toured South Africa for the first time and won six of their seven tour matches before coming up against the Springboks in Durban.

New Zealand failed to put a point on the board that day and the 17-0 triumph remains South Africa's biggest victory over them.

The four-Test series was drawn, though, as the All Blacks recovered to win at Ellis Park and Newlands.

ENGLAND 38-21 NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 1, 2012

Despite winning the Rugby World Cup the year before, New Zealand proved no match for a rampant England side at Twickenham in 2012.

The All Blacks were unbeaten in 20 matches but found themselves 15-0 down thanks to Owen Farrell's kicking before tries from Julian Savea and Kieran Read reduced the deficit to just one point.

Yet Brad Barritt, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi all went in to hand England their first win over New Zealand in nine years.

AUSTRALIA 26-10 NEW ZEALAND - JULY 12, 1980

Nearly 50,000 were at the SCG to witness the Wallabies face a New Zealand side who had been hit by an illness bug in the build-up.

The final score was therefore perhaps not surprising, with Australia 14 points up by half-time.

Test debutant Peter Grigg scored two of his team's four tries at a time when dotting down was worth only four points rather than five.

New Zealand captain Kieran Read lamented the All Blacks' performance in their joint-heaviest defeat as Australia inflicted a 47-26 thrashing on the reigning Rugby World Cup champions.

The Wallabies ran in six tries at Optus Stadium - against a team that played the entire second half with 14 men following Scott Barrett's red card - to ensure Michael Cheika's side will finish above the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship standings.

New Zealand had won the previous six Rugby Championship meetings between the two but now face a fight to keep hold of the Bledisloe Cup.

The two teams are due to meet again in Auckland next weekend, when Australia will aim to win the trophy for the first time in 17 years.

After seeing his team concede the most points they ever have in a Test, Read admitted there needs to be a marked improvement when the two meet again.

"We've got to be better than that," he told Fox Sports.

"We can't afford to give away that many missed tackles.

"You've got one chance - next week it's do or die."

Cheika has previously said he will walk away from the Australia job if his team do not win the World Cup in Japan later this year, and this performance was a real statement of intent.

Reece Hodge scored two of their tries while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also crossed.

"They were very good," Read added.

"We knew that this was going to be the case, I think that we just let our discipline slip early in that first half and we let them get ahead.

"It was pretty tit-for-tat in that first half but we just couldn't get our hands on the ball and that hurt us right after half-time and really gave them confidence."

Australia captain Michael Hooper claimed the victory can be a significant boost to morale ahead of a huge few months of international rugby.

"I'm just very proud of the build-up and very proud that the building that we have been talking about has turned into a good result," he said.

"That's a nice little hit of confidence and momentum for us."

Australia celebrated a record-setting Bledisloe Cup victory over 14-man rivals New Zealand to keep themselves in the running for the Rugby Championship title.

The Wallabies entered Saturday's match trailing both the All Blacks and South Africa in the standings but, with the Springboks in action later on Saturday, Michael Cheika's men moved into pole position with a 47-26 success, which marks New Zealand's joint-heaviest defeat and the most points they have conceded in a Test, while Australia racked up the highest number of points they have have scored in this fixture.

New Zealand had won the sides' past six Rugby Championship meetings, yet Scott Barrett's red card for an apparent shoulder charge on Michael Hooper's neck late in the first half gave them an uphill battle.

Australia, already leading from Christian Lealiifano's boot, capitalised on the man advantage and ran in six tries, meaning an Argentina win in Salta could hand Cheika's side the title.

Meanwhile, a tough weekend for the All Blacks could yet get worse as a Wales victory over England would see them knocked off the top of the world rankings for the first time since 2009.

 

Australia captain Michael Hooper and coach Michael Cheika are confident Tolu Latu will be able to keep his cool when the Wallabies take on New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.

The All Blacks head into the first of two Bledisloe Cup matches a point behind Rugby Championship leaders South Africa, who face Argentina in their last game of the shortened tournament.

Australia were well beaten in their opening outing against South Africa but rallied to claim a win over Argentina last time out.

Latu featured in the 16-10 win over Los Pumas and is in line to play again in Perth on Saturday.

New Zealand targeted Latu in a Test in Japan in October 2018, with the hooker cautioned after he clashed with Codie Taylor and shoved the All Black in the face.

The Waratahs man was also suspended for six weeks during the Super Rugby season and convicted of drink driving in June.

But Hooper has faith in Latu's renewed sense of discipline and believes the 26-year-old will repay the belief shown in him by Cheika.

"I don't know if they are going to employ that tactic," Hooper said when asked if the All Blacks may target Latu once more.

"Tolu has grown as a player and as a person a lot in the last 12 months, and he is playing really good rugby. That usually takes away from the other stuff."

Cheika added: "His attitude has been excellent and against Argentina there was many times where he was on the ball and the ref called him off the ball and he got straight off it.

"I think that shows he's starting to understand that he's got skill but he's got to know when to use it and when not to."

One week after meeting in Perth, Australia and New Zealand will go head to head again in Auckland as their World Cup preparations continue.

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