Australia given a lesson


New Zealand beat Australia in Dunedin on Saturday to win their second successive Tri-Nations series and extend their clean sweep this season to eight Tests in a row. A bulldozing first half, with 36 points unanswered by the Australian visitors, was capped with a scintillating solo try by full-back Christian Cullen before a 42,000 Carisbrooke crowd.

The Wallabies had to emphasise their wide back line, as they lacked key loose forwards through injury, but found their tactics frustrated by New Zealand throughout the first half.

However, a resounding recovery in the second half, when they scored four tries, gave the Australians some consolation and grounds for optimism ahead of the last game of the southern hemisphere's Tri-Nations series against South Africa in a week.

In contrast with their earlier Tests this season, New Zealand got off to a good start, with out-half Carlos Spencer putting nine points on the board with three penalties in the first 20 minutes. Flanker Taine Randell added a try shortly after.

Justin Marshall scored a try converted by Spencer who added a penalty to end the first half scoring. It seemed different sides came out in the second half, and the Wallabies turned the game on its head.

Australian coach Greg Smith said he couldn't understand why his team lacked intensity in the first half, and noted that they would have to work harder on their skills, including kicking.