Stunning All Blacks Smash Wallabies to Retain Bledisloe Cup
New Zealand retain the Bledisloe Cup with an astonishingly good performance, smashing Australia 51-20 in Auckland, scoring six tries and stating categorically that the last game’s mediocre showing in a 12-12 draw was merely a blip, the Telegraph’s Steve James reported.
“It was a record score against Australia and it was stunning stuff, especially after the All Blacks had lost skipper Richie McCaw to the sin bin in the first-half. He recovered rather well to score two second-half tries to add to some other quite magnificent individual efforts from fly-half Aaron Cruden (with 19 points), outside centre Conrad Smith, No 8 Kieran Read, scrum-half Aaron Smith and, in the half that he was on the field, inside centre Ryan Crotty. But no-one was better than lock Brodie Retallick, who had one of the great matches as a lock.
“But it said so much about New Zealand’s mindset and resilience that they upped their game in McCaw’s absence. They were all over Australia in that 10-minute period. In the end they only won it 3-0, but it was a huge statement.
“Australia simply had to score first in the second-half to make it a contest. They didn’t. Read crossed for New Zealand after a stunning counter-attack, and then soon afterwards McCaw pounced after a driving line out for the bonus point.
“He added a second so that, with Cruden’s conversion, it was 44-6. Australia did rally with two brave tries from [Israel] Folau and captain Michael Hooper, but could not score again, even when All Black replacement prop Ben Franks was sin-binned. Indeed it was New Zealand who had the last word with a sixth try for replacement Steven Luatua, ensuring emphatically that those scores were no consolation for Australia.
“The game had been lost long before. And lost very badly.”
New Zealand play Argentina in Napier on 6 September.
Original article by Steve James, The Telegraph, August 23, 2014.