New Zealand 57-22 Australia: All Blacks turn on second-half style to post record score against Wallabies

By Sports Desk August 14, 2021

New Zealand made it six Test wins in a row and stretched their unbeaten home run against Australia with an enthralling 57-22 Rugby Championship victory at Eden Park on Saturday.

The Wallabies, beaten 33-25 last weekend in Auckland, had won two of the three previous meetings in the Tri-Nations and Rugby Championship and looked like they might swing a frenetic contest their way early in the second half when the All Blacks were reduced to 14 men.

However, New Zealand stormed in front in sodden conditions, scoring three tries in 15 minutes to leave Dave Rennie's men demoralised after they had gone stride for stride with their hosts in the first half.

David Havili's converted try in the final seconds meant this was the highest score Ian Foster's side had ever posted against Australia.

The visitors' start was a demoralising one, Rieko Ioane plucking a pass from the air and surging 80 metres up the field to score with just three minutes played.

The Wallabies hit back in quick fashion, Andrew Kellaway darting over following a pinpoint kick from Noah Lolesio, who could not convert the try.

Australia defended resolutely to disrupt the All Blacks' rhythm, but another turnover in opposition territory saw them fall further behind, Brodie Retallick diving under the posts at the end of a sublime passing move.

Ardie Savea powered over for a third try of the half after Lolesio's penalty reduced the deficit, although Tate McDermott went over following a five-metre scrum to keep Australia in touch at the midway point.

However, six minutes after the restart – and with Savea in the sin bin – a stunning dummy and burst of speed from Aaron Smith allowed Codie Taylor a simple finish beneath the posts.

That try seemed to sap Australia's belief and, in turn, left the All Blacks buoyant. Damian McKenzie scored a penalty from 57 metres out and, scarcely a minute later, Sevu Reece snatched a looping pass down the left wing and raced away for try number five.

Three attempted tackles could not stop Taylor driving over for his second after a New Zealand attacking scrum, and quick work at the breakdown allowed Savea to set up Will Jordan to score once more in the right corner.

Kellaway got a consolation try in the driving rain but the All Blacks had the final say, Havili charging over after the siren sounded as celebrations began in earnest. Australia's winless run in New Zealand now stands at 27 matches.

 

Comprehensive

Not only was this the highest score New Zealand have managed against their old rivals, but the aggregate score in their 33 matches with Australia at Eden Park now stands at 874-443.

The Bledisloe Cup, which has not left their hands since 2003, has become a one-sided rivalry.

Risky business

In these two Bledisloe Cup Tests, Australia have adopted a more risky approach and each time had New Zealand a little worried early in the second half.

While it has made for great spectacles, their bold displays also proved their undoing: there were two intercept tries for New Zealand here and three in total in these matches.

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