All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup
August 25, 2012
Australia's Scott Higginbotham charges into the All Blacks defence
© Getty Images
New Zealand beat Australia 22-0 to record back-to-back wins over the Wallabies and retain the Bledisloe Cup.
Dan Carter kicked five penalties and converted Israel Dagg's second-half try as the All Blacks produced a dominant display at Eden Park to nil the Wallabies for the first time since 1962.
The All Blacks retain the Bledisloe Cup for the tenth year following their victory in Sydney last weekend and with only one fixture between the two sides remaining this year, which falls outside the Rugby Championship in October.
The All Blacks could have scored more tries as Kieran Read, Liam Messam, Carter and Dagg all went within inches of touching down while the Wallabies barely threatened their opponent's line throughout the game.
Australia were under pressure going into the match after last weekend's heavy defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney and they scrapped hard, especially in the first half. But 13 points in the opening eight minutes of the second half extinguished the Wallabies challenge.
New Zealand made one change to the side that beat the Wallabies 27-19 in Sydney last weekend, with prop Wyatt Crockett replacing the injured Tony Woodcock. Quade Copper was back in Australia's side at fly-half but Kurtley Beale was left out of the staring XV.
The home side dominated the opening half but had to wait until the 27th minute to get the scoreboard moving when Carter slotted his first penalty. Another three points followed minutes later after Will Genia was sin-binned for deliberately playing the ball in the ground after making a tackle.
And Carter was accurate again with the boot before the end of the half to give the hosts a 9-0 lead. It was not all doom and gloom for the Wallabies, who had prevented Dagg from crossing the line twice in the opening period.
However, it took just four minutes of the second half to record the game's only try - shortly after Carter had converted his fourth penalty of the contest. Sonny Bill Williams tried to make a sprint for the line but then decided to offload to Aaron Smith, who in turn played in Dagg to dot down.
Carter added the extras to make the scores 19-0, and added another penalty after 50 minutes to heap even more misery on the misfiring Wallabies. Australia had one sustained assault at the New Zealand line soon after when opting to eschew penalty-goal chances to keep the ball in play, but the All Blacks' defence proved sound.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd
Samoa's Sivi Tau says the team "come completely prepared", the reality is a world away. Seilala Mapusua on Samoa and building a future