All Blacks 22 Wallabies 0 – New Zealand win Bledisloe
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New Zealand ran away from the Wallabies during their Bledisloe Cup test match at Eden Park in Auckland (AAP Image/SNPA, Ross Setford).
The Wallabies came to Eden Park ready to play on Saturday night but, once their spirit was broken, they were powerless to stop the All Black machine clinching a tenth successive Bledisloe Cup with an emphatic 22-0 Rugby Championship triumph.
The 29th-minute sin-binning of stand-in Wallabies’ captain Will Genia proved a turning point, as dynamite New Zealand No.12 Sonny Bill Williams ran riot in the midfield in what was, for now at least, a fitting farewell to Test rugby for the NRL-bound star.
Israel Dagg scored the only try and five-eighth Dan Carter booted five penalties and finished with a personal haul of 17 points as the Wallabies sank to their 14th straight loss to New Zealand at Eden Park and 14th successive defeat to the All Blacks across the ditch.
Despite their decades of darkness in Auckland, it was the first time in history the Wallabies have been kept scoreless at Eden Park – and they were lucky the scoreboard didn’t blow out further.
With yet another Bledisloe out of reach and their points-less Rugby Championship campaign on life support, the pressure on Wallabies’ coach Robbie Deans is sure to intensify.
Australia were physical early but were once again punished in the territorial battle.
They struggled to hold their own in the scrum and Quade Cooper’s much-hyped return failed to inspire a lifeless attack.
In a throwback to last year’s World Cup horrors, the five-eighth was once again hounded by a packed-out Eden Park crowd, especially when he was sat on his backside by Kieran Read and then Williams in the first half.
With their backs to the wall, the Wallabies produced some gritty goal-line defence in the opening 40 minutes with Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sitaleki Timani producing brilliant try-savers.
But when Genia was yellow-carded for a professional foul with the Wallabies down just 3-0 – the All Blacks smelt blood and pounced.
The home side forced some basic mistakes from the Wallabies before halftime to take a 9-0 lead to the break and – when Carter booted a monster penalty from 52 metres out, one minute into the second half – the writing was well and truly on the wall.
Two surging runs from dual international Williams opened the way for fullback Dagg to cross untouched next to the posts in the 46th minute and virtually sealed the deal at 19-0.
Drew Mitchell’s return was short-lived – leaving the field in the first half with a leg injury.
Liam Gill earned a debut and David Pocock’s replacement Michael Hooper showed his promise at No.7.© AAP 2013
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