Hansen's All Blacks set new world record
MATCH REPORT: The All Blacks set a new world record amongst the tier one nations when they beat Australia 37-10 in their Bledisloe Cup tie at Eden Park in Auckland.
It was the All Blacks' 18th consecutive victory under Steve Hansen and it broke a 47-year-old record (17 consecutive Test victories) which was set by New Zealand in 1965-1969 and has been equalled three times, by South Africa in 1997-1998 and the All Blacks again in 2013-2014 and 2015-2016.
However, despite the 27-point winning margin the All Blacks did not have it their own way against Michael Cheika's plucky Wallabies.
Bernard Foley had the opportunity put the Wallabies in front in the first few minutes, but his penalty kick went wide from relatively in front of the polls.
Australia were made to rue that missed opportunity moments later when the All Blacks turned on the gas with some great attacking play from inside their own half. After several phases, wing Israel Dagg was put into space to sprint away for the first try of the game in the sixth minute. flyhalf Beauden Barrett was unable to convert.
Minutes later the home side found themselves back inside the Wallabies' 22 and they doubled their lead when centre Anton Lienert-Brown managed to grab an indifferent pass by his midfield partner Ryan Crotty to run in for the All Blacks' second try before the 10-minute mark.
Again, Barrett could not convert.
Australia did have their moments inside the All Blacks' half, but their execution let them down on several occasions.
However, the visitors did eventually get their try in the 28th minute after a period of sustained pressure and some good interplay between backs and forwards in the strike zone. After a few phases and some great vision, the ball eventually found its way to lock Rory Arnold who burst through a half gap before stretching over for his team's first try. Foley converted to reduce the deficit to three points.
The Wallabies' mini comeback was short-lived, however, as the All Blacks were the next to score when scrumhalf TJ Perenara charged down Reece Hodge's kick from a scrum inside the visitors' 22 to score his team's third try of the game. Barrett could not convert again, but the All Blacks were more than two scores ahead at half-time with the score at 15-7.
Australia needed to be the first to score in the second half and that is exactly what they did when Foley converted a penalty to reduce the deficit to five points in the 43rd minute.
The Wallabies then silenced the Eden Park crowd a few minutes later when Foley put Henry Speight into space down the touchline for a great score. However, after a TMO review, it was deemed that Julian Savea was obstructed on defence and the try was disallowed.
Despite the disappointment of the disallowed try, the Wallabies were dominating play and they had another chance to reduce the deficit in the 52nd minute with a penalty. However, Foley hit the crossbar from a relatively easy angle.
Instead, it was the All Blacks who increased their lead when they pounced on a Wallaby mistake. After the ball was lost forward by the Wallabies in the All Blacks' half, the ball was gathered by Ben Smith before the fullback kicked ahead with Julian Savea gathering ball to run in for the try, Aaron Cruden converted and the home side had a 12-point lead with 25 minutes left on the clock.
Both teams had their fair share of the ball on attack, but it was only the All Blacks who were putting points on the board. In the 65th minute, Cruden extended the All Blacks' lead to a comfortable 15 points with a penalty.
Like they did in many Test matches before this one, the All Blacks shifted to a higher gear in the last 15 minutes with Julian Savea showing his power and speed to score his second try of the game before gifting teammate Dane Coles a try in the corner after another powerful run down the touchline.
Dagg nearly got his second try before the end of the game. However, referee Nigel Owens ruled that Cruden's pass to the flyer in space near the tryline was forward.
Man of the match: Wing Julian Savea scored two of his team's five tries, while lock Brodie Retallick had another powerful game. However, the award goes to flank Matt Todd was excellent at the breakdowns and was abrasive with ball in hand and solid on defence as well.
Moment of the match: The decision to disallow Henry Speight's try. After a TMO review, it was deemed that Julian Savea was obstructed by Dane Haylett-Petty on defence and the try was disallowed. The score would have brought the Wallabies level with the All Blacks at a crucial stage of the match.
Villain of the match: No one on the field. In terms of officials, Shaun Veldsman did make a dodgy call when he disallowed Henry Speight's try.
For New Zealand:
Tries: Dagg, Lienert-Brown, Perenara Savea 2, Coles
Cons: Cruden 2
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Matt Todd, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Liam Squire, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Aaron Cruden, 23 Malakai Fekitoa.
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Henry Speight, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Lopeti Timani, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Ala'alatoa, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 David Pocock, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Sefa Naivalu.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)