Australia 34-54 New Zealand: First-Half rout sees All Blacks inflict heavy defeat in Sydney

Australia 34-54 New Zealand: First-Half rout sees All Blacks inflict heavy defeat in Sydney

Twelve tries scored as visitors destroy Australian defensive line, before a second-half fightback restores pride at the ANZ Stadium.

neil-leverett
Neil Leverett
AustraliaI Folau, H Speight, S Kerevi, K Beale, C Rona, B Foley, W Genia; S Sio, S Moore, A Alaalatoa, R Arnold, A Coleman, N Harrigan, M Hooper, S McMahon.
New ZealandD McKenzie, B Smith, R Crotty, S Bill-Williams, R Ioane, B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, L Squire, S Cane, K Read.
SCORERona try, Kuridrani try, Beale try, Folau try, Foley (pens x2), (cons x4). Squire try, Ioane 2 tries, Crotty 2 tries, Bill-Williams try, McKenzie try, Smith try, Barrett (cons x4).
REFEREEWayne Barnes (ENG)
INCIDENTSRugby Championship Bledisloe Cup Match between Australia and New Zealand at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney.

New Zealand scored eight tries as the All Blacks dismantled Australia 54-34, in the opening game of The Rugby Championship at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia.

A double a-piece from Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty led the visitors to scoring six times in a whirlwind first half, with a 34 point lead at half time.

The hosts then scored four unanswered tries after the break to restore a level of pride to the scoreline, but an experimental Australian pack still went down to a heavy loss.

Similar faces, new blood

In an All Black XV that had a similar look to that of the side that drew the Test series with the Lions earlier this summer, the hosts elected to give an opportunity themselves blood a pool of new talent, but also some familiar faces.

Included in Michael Cheikha's line up was veteran Kurtley Beale, who played his first game for the Wallabies since the 2015 World Cup.

After revelations emerged overnight regarding his personal life, Jerome Kaino was sent home from Australia overnight with the flanker was replaced by Liam Squire in the blindside role for New Zealand.

Sonny Bill-Williams, following his red card and subsequent suspension during the Lions series, returned to the fold after an independent panel deemed a warm-up match for Saturday evening's game the fourth game of his ban.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ioane torments hosts

After Bernard Foley opened the scoring for the hosts from a penalty, their joy was short lived with a run of four tries in the opening 25 minutes.

Squire, on his return to the All Black went over after slick work from Rieko Ioane, before he himself snuck in wide on Australia's 22 metre line, to make the scores 6-12. 

The Maori All Black went over again minutes later to score a double, before Ryan Crotty notched New Zealand's fourth try with less than half an hour played, as Australia were guilty of multiple handling errors.

As Australia began to get their ship in order, Sonny Bill-Williams then went over the whitewash five minutes from the break, to score his first try versus Australia.

To compound a miserable half for the shell-shocked Wallabies, Crotty scored his own brace, to send the teams into half-time with New Zealand 40-6 up, having scored six tries.

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Wallabies restore scoreline

With a stunned Sydney crowd on hand and the game gone, New Zealand sights turned to record scorelines. Within minutes of the restart, Damian McKenzie scored on after escaping on the right-hand side, before Aaron Smith added an eighth score in the 47th minute.

The Wallabies then themselves restored a sense of respectability to the scoreline with a quartet of tries.

Debutant Curtis Rona went over for his first test try, before substitute Tevita Kuridrani added a second five minutes later. Beale them escaped the clutches of what had been a unflinching All Black centre, to score for the first time in two years at international level.

With the All Blacks foot firmly off the gas, Israel Folau then added a fourth unanswered try, adjudged to not have knocked on after the ball flicked the thigh of Kuridrani.

Beauden Barrett looked to have added the final insult to proceedings for New Zealand, but the fly-half was denied after both he and Foley touchdown at the same time. Barrett's opposite number somehow preventing the score from a knock-down.

Staring down a drubbing at one point, Australia had saved face, but had still gone down to a heavy home defeat. Ahead of the Second Test in Dunedin next weekend, there is much work to do for Michael Cheikha and his defensive pack.

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