ABs Beat Wallabies Again at Eden Park 37-10

Australia had the ball but New Zealand scored the tries as they set a new record for consecutive Test victories by a Tier 1 nation, reaching 18 but having come of age long before, Guardian rugby correspondent Paul Rees writes.

It was not only New Zealand’s 18th straight Test victory, a run that started last year after they had been beaten by Australia in Sydney, but their 45th in a row at home, another record. They have still to be beaten at Eden Park in the professional era and they take off for their four-match tour of the northern hemisphere, which starts against Ireland in Chicago on 6 November, determined to beat Cyprus’s record of 21 consecutive wins.

“We are not happy with 18 and want to keep going,” New Zealand captain Kieran Read said. “Australia really brought it to us and we had to dig deep. It took 70 minutes to open them up and it is not going to be any easier in the north.”

New Zealand are a class apart because they have so many match-winners. Julian Savea spent the opening period looking like a man who had been asked for his ticket at the door of a party and could not find it. He turned gatecrasher after the break, bouncing off challenges from Henry Speight and Nick Frisby to score his second try, his 45th in 49 internationals.

Dane Coles again played like a three-quarter with the No2 on his back. He was rewarded with his side’s final try.

Australia took the game to New Zealand, not wobbling when they went 10-0 down against the run of play, but they were made to pay for mistakes, not least the hapless Speight. The All Blacks march on, fallible for sure, but buoyed by the self-assurance greatness bestows.

“This is the best All Blacks team I have ever seen,” said former captain Sean Fitzpatrick, who played in a few that could lay claim to the title. The best, it is hard not to suspect, is yet to come.

The All Blacks begin their northern tour with a match against Ireland in Chicago on 6 November, followed by Italy in Rome on 13 November.

Original article by Paul Rees, The Guardian, October 22, 2016.

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Tags: All Blacks  Dane Coles  Eden Park  Guardian (The)  Julian Savia  Kieran Read  Sean Fitzpatrick  Wallabies  

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