The Wallabies have endured a Halloween nightmare to hand the All Blacks the Bledisloe Cup for an 18th straight year.
New Zealand piled on six tries to one, with five-eighth and man-of-the-match Richie Mo’unga bagging a brilliant double and a 23-point personal haul as the All Blacks took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-game series with a record-breaking 43-5 rout on Saturday night.
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie handed Test debuts to five-eighth Noah Lolesio and inside centre Irae Simone, marking the first time in 73 years that Australia had blooded a rookie 10-12 combination against the All Blacks.
But the daring move backfired, Mo’unga’s mastery schooling Lolesio as the 20-year-old’s forgettable first half helped the All Blacks bolt to a 26-0 lead at the break.
Defending at fullback, Lolesio struggled with his positional play as the All Blacks, armed with more than 60 per cent possession and territory, mounted attack after attack.
Lolesio’s kicking game was also poor.
But the young playmaker was far from alone in having an off night.
Three-Test winger Filipo Daugunu crashed back to earth from the highs of his Wellington debut in the series-opening draw, a succession of handling errors and his early stint in the sin-bin also hurting the Wallabies.
Daugunu vowed pre-game to put a hit on his All Blacks opposite and Bledisloe II chief destroyer Claeb Clarke but got his timing badly wrong, leaving the Wallabies with 14 men in just the third minute after taking out his opposing winger in mid-air.
The All Blacks wasted no time making the Wallabies pay, prop Karl Tu’inukuafe crossing two minutes later for the first try of the night.
An explosive opening 13 minutes hasn't been enough to stop the All Blacks from stamping their authority over the Wallabies in the first half of Bledisloe Cup III in Sydney. #BledisloeCup #AUSvNZL https://t.co/MfT5CZxk3z
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 31, 2020
In an action-packed opening quarter of an hour, New Zealand winger Jordie Barrett was sent to the sin-bin for elbowing Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty before the TMO Angus Gardner denied the All Blacks two more tries in the space of four minu tes.
First, hooker Dane Coles was deemed to have knocked the ball on over the line after showing great foot speed to reel in Mo’unga’s probing cross-field kick.
Then Marika Koroibete miraculously forced Clarke dead in goal with a brilliant, George Gregan-esque, trysaver.
But there was no let-up from the All Blacks and they inevitably claimed their second try when Mounga switched inside and beat Wallabies hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, then Nic White and Lolesio for pace to dive over in the corner.
Mo’unga was in again shortly after when he collected a lovely chip kick from Beauden Barrett and raced 70 metres to score.
Coles wasn’t denied for a second time when he cashed in on the All Blacks’ deadly driving maul on the half hour.
A destructive solo run from fellow young gun Jordan Petaia led to Lolesio charging over for Australia’s only try of the game two minutes into the second half.
But further five-pointers to Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett completed the drubbing, the All B lacks’ winning margin the biggest over the Wallabies in 169 trans-Tasman Tests stretching back to 1903.
All Blacks 43 (Tries to Karl Tu’inukuafe, Richie Mo’unga (2), Dane Coles, Rieko Ioane and Jordie Barrett; 6 conversions and penalty to Mo’unga; yellow cards to Barrett and Shannon Frizell)
Wallabies 5 (Try to Noah Lolesio; yellow card to Filipo Daugunu)
Wallabies: 1. James Slipper 2. Folau Fainga’a 3. Allan Alaalatoa 4. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 5. Matt Philip 6. Ned Hanigan 7. Michael Hooper 8. Harry Wilson 9. Nic White 10. Noah Lolesio 11. Marika Koroibete 12. Irae Simone 13. Jordan Petaia 14. Filipo Daugunu, 15. Dane Haylett-Petty
Reserves: 16. Jordan Uelese 17. Scott Sio 18. Taniela Tupou 19. Rob Simmons 20. Fraser McReight 21. Tate McDermott 22. Reece Hodge 23. Hunter Paisami
New Zealand: 1. Karl Tu’inukuafe 2. Dane Coles 3. Ofa Tuungafasi 4. Patrick Tuipulotu, 5. Samuel Whitelock 6. Shannon Frizell 7. Sam Cane (c) 8. Hoskins Sotutu 9. Aaron Smith, 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. Caleb Clarke 12. Jack Goodhue 13. Anton Lienert-Brown 14. Jordie Barrett 15. Beauden Barrett
Reserves: 16. Codie Taylor 17. Alex Hodgman 18. Tyrel Lomax 19. Scott Barrett 20. Dalton Papalii 21. TJ Perenara 22. Ngani Laumape 23. Rieko Ioane.
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