Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika bemoans dire defensive effort against All Blacks

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika bemoans dire defensive effort against All Blacks

"Any time you can put that number of points and score tries like that against any global team, it feels pretty good", said Read.

New Zealand's Rugby Championship campaign suffered another setback just hours before their opening match against Australia after veteran flanker Jerome Kaino flew home from Syndey following revelations about his personal life.

A string of errors in both defence and attack put the Wallabies in a hard position in the first half, which the clinical New Zealanders used to score six unanswered tries to take a 40-6 lead into the break.

Playing with a devastating mix of pace and precision, the All Blacks crossed six times before the interval to end the game as a contest, Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty each claiming braces as Damian McKenzie justified his selection at full-back with a series of dazzling breaks.

Debutant winger Curtis Rona finally scored Australia's first try after 52 minutes and further tries to replacement Tevita Kuridrani and a runaway from Kurtley Beale gave the home supporters something to cheer.

NZR said it could not comment on the allegations about Kaino nor new details which have emerged this week about scrum-half Aaron Smith's tryst in an airport bathroom a year ago.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read described his side's first-half attacking blitz as "surreal".

"You have stick by things you have been doing, the stuff we have been preparing for".

The unprecedented year of Transtasman rugby controversy cames to a head last night as the All Blacks take on the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup grudge match in Sydney. "It showed, we were able to regroup and put points on the board", Hooper said.

He added: "But I know that we'll improve".

In what was a game of two halves, the Wallabies finally clicked into gear in the second half, piling on four unanswered tries in the final 30 minutes to leave the final deficit at 20 points. They had already conceded an early try to flanker Liam Squire after 10 minutes, leaving the big flanker with an easy gallop to the line with a defence outflanked.

Crotty then took a delightful short pass from Barrett to register his first try and surged through a huge hole in the Wallabies defence to go over again after Sonny Bill Williams had also scored.

A crowd of just 54,846 fans - the lowest-ever for a Bledisloe battle at ANZ Stadium - witnessed one of the Wallabies' lowest-ever performances.

The All Blacks could have had a ninth try three minutes from time when Barrett, who kicked seven conversions, charged down a Foley defensive kick, only for the video official to decide both players had grounded the ball simultaneously.

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