Ruthless All Blacks teach Wallabies lesson in Bledisloe Cup opener

first_img Support The Guardian Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Topics Reuse this content Read more Share on Messenger Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Rugby union All Blacks beat Wallabies in Bledisloe Cup/Rugby Championship opener – as it happened It was the worst crowd for a Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney since they started playing at the 2000 Olympic venue in Homebush, but it was slightly better than some feared it might be, which unthinkably, was sub-50,000.The All Blacks led 40-6 at half-time, setting a record for the most number of points they have scored against the Wallabies in a first-half. Australian five-eighth Bernard Foley opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the fourth minute after the All Blacks failed to roll away from the tackled player in their 22.But the All Blacks soon exploited a weakness in the Wallabies’ short-side defence. Flanker Liam Squire scored the first try of the game in the ninth minute after finishing an attacking movement on the left hand side with Wallabies winger Henry Speight rushing out of the line in the midfield to create an overlap.Foley edged the Wallabies closer, 7-6, with another penalty goal in the 16th minute after the All Blacks collapsed a scrum. But the visitors then blew the game apart, scoring 33 unanswered points in the next 24 minutes.Ioane scored his first try in the 17th minute in the left hand corner after getting around Wallabies fullback Israel Folau. He was over again three minutes later, scoring a classic All Blacks try off turnover ball. A pass from Wallabies captain Michael Hooper to halfback Will Genia went to ground and the ball was scooped up by Crotty, who put Ioane away.Crotty scored in the 24th minute. Five-eighth Beauden Barrett looped around lock Brodie Retallick and slipped a pass to Crotty. By this point the Wallabies had already missed 27 tackles. Sonny Bill Williams scored in the 33rd minute, crashing over between rugby league convert Curtis Rona and Speight.Crotty collected his double on the stroke of half-time after receiving a cut-out pass from halfback Aaron Smith and darting over. And All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie scored his first Test try in the 42nd minute to effectively put an end to any chance of a Wallabies comeback win.All Blacks winger Ben Smith scored in the 47th minute after taking an inside ball from Aaron Smith, while Rona, replacement centre Tevita Kuridrani, centre Kurtley Beale and Folau scored consolation tries for the Wallabies, but even that was too little too late.All Blacks coach Steve Hansen praised the team’s performance in the first 50 minutes as “pretty special,” but they were then “seduced” by the scoreboard. “The first 50 minutes was probably as good as rugby as you’ll see and the last 30 was probably the ugliest,” Hansen said.“We got a little seduced by the scoreboard and went away from the fundamentals of what we wanted to do. It’s about concentrating right now on what we did really, really well. That first 50 minutes was pretty special.”The Wallabies now travel to Dunedin where they will try to level the series on Saturday night. If it is any consolation the last time the Wallabies won in New Zealand was in Dunedin, but that was in 2001. Share on Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Australia rugby union team Share on Facebook New Zealand rugby union team match reports Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news The All Blacks out-scored the Wallabies eight tries to four in their 54-34 win, setting a new record for points against Australia in a game which produced the second highest combined number of points, 88, in a Tri Nations/Rugby Championship Test. All Blacks Winger Rieko Ioane and centre Ryan Crotty both collected doubles.Instead of lifting spirits, the Wallabies’ defeat just created more despair to go with the gloom of Australia’s 0-26 win-loss record against Kiwi opposition in Super Rugby and the culling of the Western Force.Wallabies coach Michael Cheika lamented the team’s woeful defence. “It was pretty plain to see that our defence wasn’t good enough,” Cheika said. “The adherence to the way we wanted to defend plus the tackling itself. It’s got to be better. The first part of the game is not the level we can be at, at all. Not in any game, let alone a game against them.“It’s not attitude. It’s maybe that little bit of doubt creeps in. When something goes against you early and we have been preparing a certain way, a little bit of doubt creeps in and causes some of the problems. Points should be coming. We have an attacking type of team so we should be scoring points, but you’ve got to have both sides of the game.”Australian rugby desperately needed a Wallabies win to arrest the alarming decline of the game. Yet few truly thought they could win, certainly not the fans. A crowd of only 54,846 showed up and a lot of supporters were Kiwis or, say it quietly, dual citizens. The large number of black coats, jumpers and jackets darkened the mood. Bledisloe Cup Read more Australia sport Rugby Championship There was hope it would be the start of something big, the resuscitation of Australian rugby no less – a Wallabies-led recovery which would bring the game in this country back from a near death experience. But it turned out to be a sad, forlorn longing, crushed by the weight of 23 men in black.Some claimed there were cracks in the All Blacks’ armour. Sex scandals, bugging dramas and even a spelling crisis, but the only cracks were in the Wallabies’ defence. Share on WhatsApplast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *