New Zealand crush Australia in Rugby Championship opener
Biggest defeat against NZ in 20 years - on course for another Bledisloe Cup defeat
New Zealand’s Waisake Naholo gets by Bernard Foley of Australia during Saturday’s victory over their rivals. Photograph: Paul Seiser/Inpho
New Zealand crushed Australia 42-8 in the first game of the Rugby Championship on Saturday, putting the World Champions on course to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
New Zealand ran in six tries to one during a one-sided game, condemning Australia to the biggest defeat against their arch rivals since 1996.
Australia took an early lead after a penalty from outhalf Bernard Forley in the fourth minute but it did not last long. Inside centre Ryan Crotty crossed the line for the first try of the game two minutes later before outhalf Beauden Barrett scored after a series of slick passes from the visitors.
The lead was extended when blindside flanker Jerome Kaino scored after charging down a kick in the 31st, while Waisake Naholo scored the fourth try in the final stages of the first half, with Barrett again instrumental.
While Australia attempted a rally in the second half, a mistake from Tevita Kuridrani allowed New Zealand prop Dan Coles to score the visitor’s fifth try after 56 minutes. Replacement winger Julian Savea ran in the sixth for the visitors, shrugging off would-be tacklers to take the ball over the line in the corner.
Australia’s Nick Phipps contributed a consolation try after New Zealand Captain Kieran Read was sin binned for denying a scoring opportunity.
Australia must beat New Zealand in Wellington on August 27th to avoid a 14th consecutive Bledisloe Cup defeat.