Carnage for Wallabies in Bledisloe opener

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Thirteen years of Bledisloe pain was condensed into 80 minutes of carnage as the Wallabies fell to a record 42-8 home loss, at the hands of the All Blacks.

Three of Australia’s backs were lost before half-time, including both inside centres Matt Giteau and Matt Toomua, as New Zealand piled on the points, with four opening half tries and six overall, in front of 65,238 at ANZ Stadium.

All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett shaded Wallabies counterpart Bernard Foley in a man of the match performance, with slick attack and accurate kicking and as much as Australia battled hard nothing seemed to connect.

Beauden Barrett scored a try and was solid with the boot. Photo: Getty ImagesAt first it looked like the All Blacks might be under the blowtorch, with Sam Cane dropping the ball at kick off and a head knock forcing Codie Taylor off the field in just the third minute, putting Dane Coles’s rib injury to the test.

Foley slotted a penalty from that same passage for the night’s first points, but little went right for Australia after that.

The midfield that had been labelled potentially vulnerable for the All Blacks dispelled that theory just six minutes in, with Ryan Crotty taking advantage of an overlap to score in the corner.

Giteau’s night was over in the 11th minute, with an ankle injury forcing him off after three minutes of the inside centre hobbling in play.

Things went from bad to worse for the Wallabies, losing two consecutive lineouts and then letting Barrett slip through their clutches for the second All Blacks try, making the hole 17 points.

Injuries didn’t let up, with Toomua coming off with a concussion in the 30th minute, after a collision with Barrett, while Rob Horne's night was done just shy of half-time, coming off with a shoulder injury.

When a Bernard Foley kick was charged down by All Blacks flanker Jerome Kaino for the All Blacks’ third try of the night, the gap grew to 22 and the wheel of fortune again swung away from the home side.

The All Blacks had no trouble winning in Sydney. Photo:  Getty ImagesAnother slice of Barrett brilliance put winger Waisake Naholo through a gap in the final minute of the opening half to give New Zealand a 32-3 half-time lead.

A second-half deadlock was broken when the All Blacks pounced on a Tevita Kuridrani error, with Coles finishing, followed up by a spectacular sideline score from Julian Savea.

A 75th minute Nick Phipps try meant the Wallabies avoided their largest ever Bledisloe losing margin, but that was little consolation at the end of an uphill battle.

Wallabies captain Stephen Moore said the performance was simply not enough from his team.

"I don’t know what to say," he told FOXSPORTS after the match.

"I feel for fans, it wasn’t good enough from us. We clawed back in that second half but it was just too big a lead."

The Wallabies must now win in Wellington, a victory that would be their first in New Zealand since 2001, to keep the series alive.


(Tries:Phipps  Cons: Pens: Foley )


(Tries:  Crotty, Barrett, Kaino, Naholo, Coles, Savea Cons: Barrett 3 Pens: Barrett 2 )