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New Zealand Vs. Australia
2016 Rugby Championship, 28 August, 2016
|New Zealand 29 defeated Australia 9|
|Referee: R Poite|
|Touch judges: J Peyper & F Anselmi|
The All Blacks have claimed the Bledisloe Cup for 2016 with a 20-point win over Australia.
More of the wash-up from Bledisloe 2:
» Match report
» LORD: Sack Cheika? No way
» Seven talking points
» What changes should the Wallabies make?
» DIY Player Ratings
» WATCH: Highlights from the match
All Blacks 29
The Wallabies travel across the ditch to do battle with the All Blacks this afternoon with the hopes of salvaging their Bledisloe Cup dreams inside enemy territory. Follow all the live highlights and rugby action on The Roar from 5:35pm (AEST).
The Wallabies suffered their largest defeat to New Zealand on home soil last week, going down in a helpless 42-8 demolition job to open the series.
The line out that Michael Cheika had reassured the Aussie fans not to worry about crumbled, while the 40 missed tackles from the Wallabies meant that New Zealand could waltz through the defence and pile on the points.
New Zealand are in prime position to take out another Bledisloe Cup, their 14th in a row, considering their insane record at home.
The Wallabies haven’t won a single game in New Zealand for 15 years, dating back to 2001 when John Eales was on his way out as captain. On top of that, the All Blacks have won an incredible 41 straight games at home, going undefeated for the last seven years.
Just to add one final point to sink the Australian fanbase, the Wallabies have now lost their last five Test matches, being on wrong end of a series whitewash against England earlier in the year.
It’s not all bad for the Wallabies though, they’ve scored at least one try in all of their last 22 away games, showing off their ball movement and ability to cross the line no matter the location.
Changes a plenty for Cheika coming into this one after half his backline went down injured during last week’s loss.
Matt Giteau (ankle), Matt Toomua (concussion) and Rob Horne (shoulder) were all hit with the injury stick in an unfortunate series of inside centre setbacks, even forcing Nick Phipps to play out on the wing for half the game.
Chief among these changes has been the inclusion of polarising playmaker Quade Cooper into the lineup, playing his first game since the pool stages of last year’s World Cup.
He will join Bernard Foley as fly-half and inside centre respectively, while Samu Kerevi has been put into outside centre for the matchup, beating out Tevita Kuridrani for the run on position.
Rob Simmons and Ben McCalman have both been axed from the squad, the later allowing Scott Fardy to take back the place he lost to McCalman to start with.
Dean Mumm has retained his place while big Will Skelton shuffles into the bench, likely coming on in the second half to add some muscle to the tiring forward pack.
Melbourne Rebels young star Reece Hodge has been called into the squad, and has the chance to make his international debut off the bench.
For New Zealand, coach Steve Hansen has shuffled around his backline for the second test, while also making one change to the forward pack.
A hamstring injury to Waisake Naholo has gifted Julian Savea the run on spot on the wing, while issues at inside centre for the All Blacks will see Anton Lienert-Brown make his test debut in the position.
Israel Dagg has been shuffled out to the wing, allowing Ben Smith to move back to fullback.
The ever resilient hard man Dane Coles has been rewarded for his performance last week with a starting spot at hooker. The big man came on after three minutes and played nearly the whole game with injured ribs.
New Zealand were so strong and dominant last week it’s hard to see them fall back from that, especially with so many injuries and re-shuffles inside the Australian lineup.
Hansen has said during the week though that he is wary of a Wallabies outfit looking to redeem themselves from, what Cheika then said, was one of the worst moments in his coaching career.
You can expect a hard gutsy effort from the Australians, but history is certainly against them on New Zealand soil and there’s a reason the kiwis are number one in the world.
New Zealand to win by 22