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Australia vs New Zealand

The Rugby Championship, 19 August, 2017

ANZ Stadium
Fulltime - Australia 34, New Zealand 54
Australia   New Zealand
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Touch judges: Nigel Owens & Andy Brace
TMO: Rowan Kitt

Match result:

The All Blacks have kicked off their Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship defence with a resounding offensive display, piling on 54 points against a hapless Wallabies defence.

All the wash-up from Wallabies vs All Blacks Bledisloe 1:
» QUIGLEY: Bledisloe a damning indictment
» LORD: Rugby is an 80-minute game
» Match report: All Blacks wallop Wallabies
» What changes should Australia make for Bledisloe 2?
» Vote in our DIY Wallabies player ratings
» WATCH: Highlights from Bledisloe 1
» WATCH: Michael Cheika’s post game comments

Final score
Wallabies 34
All Blacks 54

Match preview:

The Wallabies are hoping to shake a five-game losing streak against the All Blacks when they host the opening Bledisloe Cup game to kick off the 2017 Rugby Championship. Catch all the live scores, highlights and blog on The Roar from 8pm (AEST).

The Wallabies have won just a single game from their last 16 fixtures against their Trans-Tasman rivals, dating back to the 2011 Tri-Nations series.

The All Blacks have won 14 series in a row now in one of the most dominant streaks in sporting history.

The Wallabies, while Australian rugby is in the midst of a messy battle of Super Rugby sides, are fresh off a shaky June international window.

A 23-point win over Fiji was a confidence-boosting start to the campaign, but they quickly began to tumble downhill with a scrappy and demoralising 19-24 loss at the hands of modern rivals, Scotland.

The Wallabies had a chance to recapture form leading into the current series, but a less than convincing performance against Italy only fueled the fire of Australia’s rugby woes.

For the All Blacks, a monster 78-0 thumping of Samoa was the perfect lead up to the famed British and Irish Lions tour in June and July.

An incredibly tense series followed with a fired up Lions side stunning the home side with a drawn series thanks to an incredible 15-all tie in the third Test.

The defeat and draw in the last two games of the series leaves New Zealand winless across consecutive games for the first time in six years.

Australia will have to repeat history that hasn’t been seen in nearly two decades to make it three non-wins in a row.

While Australia’s off-field and administrative dramas have been a coming in thick and fast, New Zealand have been no stranger to issues off the park in recent weeks as well.

Halfback Aaron Smith’s past has come back up to haunt his preparations, as well as veteran Jerome Kaino who was sent home the morning of Game 1 thanks to an affair scandal, being ruled out of the game.

Since the 2015 Rugby Championship, the last time the Aussies toppled the men in black, New Zealand have won the World Cup, the last two Super Rugby titles and recaptured the Championship.

Team News
Coach Michael Cheika has made a few notable alterations to his side following the undulating results of the June internationals.

Most notably, Kurtley Beale returns to the Wallabies line up for the first time since the World Cup final in 2015, recovering from hamstring troubles that left him out of the side earlier in the year.

He will line up at inside centre alongside Foley in the halves and Samu Kerevi wearing the 13 jersey.

One surprise in the backline is the inclusion of rugby league convert Curtis Rona who will make his Wallaby debut out on the wing.

In the scrum, Ned Hanigan will lock into the back three alongside team mate and new skipper Michael Hooper, as well as the soon to be departed Sean McMahon at No. 8 before his venture to Japanese rugby.

Retiring veteran Stephen Moore has held onto his starting spot at hooker.

For the kiwis, 22-year-old Damian McKenzie has been rewarded for back to back outstanding Super Rugby seasons with the starting fullback role after being left out of the entire Lions series. It will be just his third Test for the All Blacks.

McKenzie replaces an injured Jordie Barrett, with Ben Smith being shifted to the wing.

Halves pairing Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett are the only two to remain in the backline from the third Test against the Lions.

As well as the aforementioned McKenzie and Ben Smith moves, coach Steve Hansen has named Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty at inside and outside centre respectively.

Rieko Ioane takes flight on the opposite wing to Smith in his sixth Test in black.

Nothing too dramatic to speak of in the scrum with a very strong New Zealand pack shaping up.

However, Jerome Kaino has sensationally been sent home following an alleged affair scandal, ruling him out of the contest.

As obvious as it sounds, this opening game is massively crucial, it’s a must win for the Wallabies because they have all but no chance of winning Game 2 in Dunedin.

They’re coming off a very nervy June campaign, coming up against an All Blacks side fired up from an immense series against the Lions.

I don’t think it will be the kind of blowout from Game 1 of last year in Sydney, but the All Blacks should get the job done tonight without too much trouble.

New Zealand to win by 19

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The Crowd Says (685)

The Roar Live Blog: Latest comments displayed at the top of the page | Click here to jump to leave a comment

  • 11:34pm
    Utah said | 11:34pm | ! Report

    This is what I took from Hooper’s post match interview.

    Proud of the second half. Great Aussie spirit. Bodes well for next week.

    • 8:40pm
      Mike said | 8:40pm | ! Report

      No captain could say anything else.

      He may know its BS but he can’t say that.

  • Roar Guru

    Connor Bennett said | 10:57pm | ! Report

    Steve Hansen and Kieran Read…


    “First 50 minutes was probably as good a rugby you’ll see and the last 30 was not.”

    “It’s another learning for a group that’s re-establishing themselves,” on letting in 28 points in the second half.”

    “Rugby is about momentum and we seized the momentum from the get go and it wasn’t until the 50-minute mark that Australia were able to have their turn.”

    “Ultimately it’s all about Saturday, about winning the game,” on pushing the off field drama aside.

  • 10:45pm
    Baz said | 10:45pm | ! Report

    Stephen Moore was terrible. He is a liability. 6 and 8 were absent the whole night. Cheika needs to fix the back row, start Taf at hooker and find another hooker. In the backd, Kerevi was woeful.

    • 11:30pm
      double agent said | 11:30pm | ! Report

      Everyone know he is terrible. Everyone except Cheika. What is it about Australian sport that allows Captains to continue playing for years after they should have retired?

  • Roar Guru

    Connor Bennett said | 10:42pm | ! Report


    “Our defense wasn’t good enough… at all.”

    “The way we want to defend and the tackling as a whole, it’s gotta be better.”

    “It’s not attitude, just maybe that little bit of doubt creeps in early.”

    “With the team we’ve got the points should be coming.”

    “100%,” on whether he still has faith in Gray.

    “I know that we’ll improve, we’ve got to do some quick improving.”

    “I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of (positional) changes.”

    “Yeah, this is a roadblock in front of us of course, but it’s not going to stop us.”


    “Our defence started to click and we were able to force some errors… gave us momentum,” on what they did to come back in the second half.

  • Roar Rookie

    cinque said | 10:39pm | ! Report

    Just re-watched the first half and counted missed tackles.
    Fox said 37 but it wasn’t that much.
    Problems are more structure and awareness, rather than misses, bad though they were.
    Here’s my count. * = crucial.
    Sio – 2
    Aalaatoa – 1
    Coleman – 1
    Hooper- 1
    McMahon – 1 * (SBW break)
    Rona – 3
    Beale – 1*, but of course he will go for an intercept rather than put in
    Kerevi – 2½ **, and many misreads and laziness
    Speight – 2½
    Folau – 1*, Ioane try, again positionally suss

    That’s 16. Maybe I am a soft marker.
    Grey should resign tomorrow. Players don’t trust each other; they don’t trust him.

    • 11:24pm
      Connor33 said | 11:24pm | ! Report

      Keep these stats and this count. Hodge and TK should have been 12-13, with Beale on the wing for Rona.

      Kerevi seemed to be playing 12 and 13 as was Roba, both misreading everything. Just a terrible defensive decison by CCheika and Grey.

  • 10:37pm
    Scramble said | 10:37pm | ! Report

    Without Wayne Barnes help the result could have been embarrassing .

  • Roar Guru

    Connor Bennett said | 10:35pm | ! Report

    Michael’s Cheika and Hooper in for the press conference…

  • 10:22pm
    Rugby101 said | 10:22pm | ! Report

    Foley is the Mike Brearley of Australian Rugby

    • 10:26pm
      Bib said | 10:26pm | ! Report

      He’s everything cooper is accused of being, but worse

  • 10:22pm
    Bib said | 10:22pm | ! Report

    Beale just got MoM.

    Jesus wept

    • 10:27pm
      rebel said | 10:27pm | ! Report

      Wallaby MoM. Strange award to have on the coveragw.

      • 10:32pm
        Bib said | 10:32pm | ! Report

        I’m corrected. And I’m not sure what’s worse…

        Honestly he (and kerevi) were woeful in the midfield. He was directly responsible for 2 tries

        • 10:35pm
          rebel said | 10:35pm | ! Report

          Nathan Gray got the ABs MoM.
          Kerevi doesn’t look fit enough at the moment. Caught out too many times. Defensive structure is too confusing and was poorly implemented.

          • Roar Guru

            jeznez said | 12:43am | ! Report

            He can tackle front on at 12. Is lost at 13.

            The polar opposite to the glue that Crotty provided for the AB’s.

            • 9:54pm
              rebel said | 9:54pm | ! Report

              played 13 for the reds. didn’t look lost, looked unfit not getting into position on time.

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