World record All Blacks give Wallabies more Eden Park pain

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Things were better for the Wallabies at Eden Park, but it wasn’t enough to stop the All Blacks’ world record-winning run, as Australia went down 37-10.

This New Zealand side can officially call itself the most dominant Tier One nation in history, having finally nailed an 18th consecutive Test win, while the Wallabies’ 30-year drought at Eden Park has become 31.

A controversially disallowed Henry Speight try in the 45th minute cost them the chance to level the scores, trailing 15-10 at the time in an incident that sparked debate, though the margin went well beyond that deciding the match.

Speight streaked down the right edge, but before flyhalf Bernard Foley could take the conversion, the score was sent for review, with Dane Haylett-Petty deemed to be obstructing Speight’s pursuant, Julian Savea.

Bernard Foley worked hard but couldn't hit his kicks. Photo: Getty ImagesIt was a poor turn of fortune for the Wallabies, at a crucial juncture in the game for the side, who showed a performance worlds away from their devastating opening trans-Tasman clash in Sydney two months ago.

Rookie lock Adam Coleman forced pressure on a New Zealand throw and halfback Nick Phipps was the beneficiary, but the Wallabies couldn't hold New Zealand out for long.

It took just three shots down the right edge for Israel Dagg to have New Zealand’s first in the sixth minute, a sequence of events not dissimilar to that in Sydney two months ago.

A failed intercept attempt from returned winger Henry Speight turned into an Anton Lienert-Brown try. 

Beauden Barrett’s unusually patchy kicking was the saving grace for the Wallabies early, not that New Zealand needed to rely on the conversions.

Israel Folau moved into the midfield. Photo: Getty ImagesA Samu Kerevi injury compounded the Wallabies’ early woes, with the promising centre forced off the ground after attempting to play through, opening the door for Israel Folau to move into 13.

Folau’s shift gave him greater involvement in the game and while it couldn’t yield a score for the fullback, the intrigue around his selection in Wales in a fortnight will only intensify.

With possession and territory in their favour through the first half, the Wallabies could draw just one try, with Rory Arnold using every bit of his 208cm frame to get the ball over the line.

Halfback TJ Perenara made the most of a pivotal charge down on a Reece Hodge kick, just short of the All Blacks line, swan diving over for New Zealand’s third in just over half an hour.

TJ Perenara scored off a chargedown. Photo: Getty ImagesSpeight’s disallowed try cost the Wallabies the chance to draw level and 10 minutes later the All Blacks turned the tables, with Aaron Cruden seemingly tripping Scott Sio in pursuit of a loose ball in New Zealand territory.

A quick conversion diffused the possibility of a review and the All Blacks stretched their lead to 12, through Savea, before an Aaron Cruden penalty made the margin more than two converted tries.

Savea had his second in the 69th minute after replacement scrumhalf Nick Frisby conceded a turnover.

The Wallabies will be sweating on the fitness of lock Arnold, who went off injured, in the 48th minute.

Both teams will now head overseas for their end of year Spring tours.


New Zealand 37

Tries: J Savea 2, Dagg, Lienert-Brown, Perenara, Coles

Cons: Cruden 2 Pens: Cruden

Australia 10

Tries: Arnold

Cons: Foley  Pens: Foley