Scores updated each minute. REFRESH NOW
Australia vs New Zealand
The Rugby Championship, 18 August, 2018
|Fulltime - Australia 13, New Zealand 38|
|Referee: Jaco Peyper|
|Touch judges: Wayne Barnes & Luke Pearce|
|TMO: Marius Jonker|
The All Blacks have a taken a 1-0 lead in the race for the 2018 Bledisloe Cup, defeating the Wallabies 38-13 at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
All Blacks 38
The Wallabies will take on the All Blacks as the Rugby Championship kicks off in Sydney this Saturday, in what doubles up as the first match of the Bledisloe Cup. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:35pm AEST.
Both sides know that two of the most important trophies in world rugby and the all important Trans-Tasman bragging rights are at stake over the next few weeks and a win in game one is critical.
Despite Steve Hansen’s bold/bizarre claims, the All Blacks are favourites and it’s easy to understand why.
The Wallabies are a bit more of a mystery – there’s plenty to indicate that they could really challenge the All Blacks in game one.
But at the same time there are those familiar concerns that the Wallabies are not going to live up to expectation.
So where is this game going to be decided?
The Wallabies pack have really come on over the past few months and with Taniela Tupou bringing something special off the bench the All Blacks know they will have to fight hard for supremacy up front.
The All Blacks front five though is looking mighty impressive and will expect to use their experience and ability to create a strong platform for their side.
Can Pooper fire?
At it’s best Pooper can destroy opponents in both defence and attack but as the Irish showed in June, there are ways to nullify them.
The work from the men in green in the second and third tests on Pocock was impressive and they really stopped his dominating influence.
Can he continue to be an aerial weapon? His ability in the air is unrivaled but the way he was punished against Ireland could well lead to the Wallabies full back being a bit more hesitant.
The All Blacks might sense an opportunity to get Folau thinking twice, or even penalised, and put him under some high ball pressure early.
For the sake of the game, let’s hope the referee’s cards don’t play a big part.
Kicking from hand
In game one against the Irish, Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale kicked well and made life hard for the Irish. In the next two tests they didn’t and it really cost them.
Against the All Blacks’ back three there will be no margin for error allowed so the Wallabies No.10 and No.12 will have to be at their very best.
There are plenty of other subplots to this game including the two new centre partnerships, how Beauden Barrett will respond to growing pressure and whether the Wallabies defensive system can stand up to the All Blacks barrage.
In summary – lots to look forward to!
Despite recent losses, there is something that makes you feel that the Wallabies are heading in the right direction and with the inspiring Pocock, an improving front five and the home advantage there’s a lot to like. If they can rattle the Kiwis early then who knows what could happen.
However, the All Blacks just look better in too many positions and assuming they can handle the Sydney crowds then it’s hard to look past another Kiwi win.
New Zealand to win by 10.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:35pm AEST on Saturday.