It’s all on the line for Australia tonight. A win or a draw will keep their Bledisloe dreams alive. A loss will add another chapter to the Eden park hoodoo and consign this group of wallabies to the same ridicule as the ones from the twelve previous seasons.
Roman Poite waited 14 seconds before he awarded his first penalty and he continued to blow them at regular intervals for the first 12 minutes of the match when he sent Ritchie McCaw to the bin for playing the ball on the ground. Australia kicked the resulting penalty but the New Zealanders had looked the more dangerous team.
New Zealand dominated the time McCaw spent in the bin and Australia lost Rob Simmons to the bin for ‘lifting’ a leg in a ruck just as he returned. The All Blacks seemed to be making metres at will. They immediately took advantage of their scrum advantage by winning a tighthead and rushing up field putting Brodie Retallick over the line only to be held up. From the resulting scrum New Zealand pushed Australia back to the line before Slipper collapsed and Poite awarded a penalty try.
After the kick off Australia did well to get into New Zealand’s 22 and spread the ball wide looking to score but New Zealand turned the ball over and broke out and sent Savea away to score. Australia’s defence looks to be in shreds. New Zealand have dominated this half of football and go into half time with a 23-6 lead.
The Wallabies started the second half looking to be more direct. New Zealand came out looking to run everything and speed the pace of the game up. For ten minutes Australia kept the All Blacks scoreless but then Beale took the line on and was turned over. New Zealand again took advantage of the broken defensive line and 85 metres and a few seconds later Kieran Read scored.
From the kick off the New Zealanders again marched into Australia’s 22 and won a lineout 5 metres from the try line. Ritchie McCaw scored his first try from the resulting driving maul. To rub salt into the wound he scored his second try in exactly the same fashion moments later. The game had turned into a rout with the All Blacks leading 44-6
Palu, White and Toomua were replaced with Higginbotham, Phipps and Foley and their presence has an immediate effect on the game. The three combined to gain some territory and gave a little room for Beale to put Folau away for the Wallabies first try. Five minutes later Hooper brilliantly broke away from the back of a maul beating several all Blacks to score. Despite Beale converting both tries the wallabies score was still less than half the All Blacks.
New Zealand finished the game still trying to score tries and proved it with Luatua scoring after the siren. The final score was 51-20. Australia was never really in the game and New Zealand rightfully retain the Bledisloe cup.
The Game Changer
Rob Simmons yellow card changed the dynamic of the game. You can argue the legitimacy of the card but not the result. Australia’s scrum was smashed and 14 points were scored while he was off the field.
The G&GR MOTM
The All Blacks truly produced a team effort but the player who stood out to me was Brodie Retallick He was in the engine room for the penalty try. Held up over the line for his own try. And forced the turnover for Saveas try.
Nic White again did himself no favours. And I think Beale didn’t give enough direction to the back line. Slipper was once again a class above the rest of the team.
Score & Scorers
[one_half last=”no”]New Zealand: 51
Tries: Penalty try, Savea, Read, McCaw 2, Luatua.
Conversions: Aaron Cruden 6
Penalties: Aaron Cruden 3[/one_half]
[one_half last=”yes”]Australia: 20
Tries: Folau, Hooper
Conversions: Beale 2
Penalties: Kurtley Beale 2 [/one_half]
Cards & citings