Sport Union Sixteen years and counting: All Blacks give Wallabies another walloping and put a lock on Bledisloe Cup
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Sixteen years and counting: All Blacks give Wallabies another walloping and put a lock on Bledisloe Cup

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Beauden Barrett scored four tries in another drubbing by the All Blacks. Photo: Getty
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The All Blacks have retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 16th year in a row after another big win over the Wallabies at Eden Park.

New Zealand hammered Australia 40-12, clinching the three-match series with a dead rubber to play in October, and maintaining their 32-year winning record against the Wallabies at the ground.

The victory means the Wallabies haven’t beaten the All Blacks on NZ soil since 2001.

All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett was the star of the show, bagging a stunning four-try haul and 30 points in total in the rout.

In a performance which will heap more pressure on under-fire coach Michael Cheika, the Wallabies couldn’t handle Barrett, whose points haul is a Bledisloe Cup record.

His four tries are the most by an All Black and equals the famous four-try effort of Wallabies flanker Greg Cornelson at the same ground in 1978.

Barrett drew first blood with a converted try in the 13th minute, but a try to halfback Will Genia soon pulled the Wallabies level 7-7, only to have Barrett score a second try two minutes before half time in an 80-metre movement that saw the ball handled by Jordie Barrett, Ben Smith (twice) and Codie Taylor, before Barrett dotted down.

But as happened in the national teams’ first encounter of the series in Sydney, the All Blacks put their foot on the gas in the second half, scoring four tries to one.

The Wallabies’ hopes of a close contest were dashed within just 10 minutes of halftime when prop Joe Moody and flanker Liam Squire powered across for relatively easy tries.

Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley followed up a try-saving tackle on Jordie Barrett with a scything run to set up centre Reece Hodge and reduce the margin to 16 points.

But as is their wont, the All Blacks responded, with Barrett scoring a brilliant solo try, and having another disallowed by the TMO before snagging a fourth soon after that review.

The All Blacks looked like they were going to post close to 50 points when winger Waisake Naholo crossed the line, only to have it ruled out by the TMO for an earlier forward pass.

Among the few bright points for the Wallabies was an improved set piece display after a shambolic Sydney effort.

Their lineout was better and the introduction of props Scott Sio and Allan Alaalatoa stiffened the scrum.

Dane Haylett-Petty made some bright runs from fullback in the absence of Israel Folau, while David Pocock playing at No. 8 was a standout once again.

Skipper Michael Hooper said he remained convinced the Wallabies could turn things around against the All Blacks.

“I’ve got full belief in our team, I’ve got full belief in our players,” he said after the match.

“Something is not going right at the moment in certain parts of our game that we have to nut out, but I’ll die being a believer in this team and I’ve got full confidence we can turn the corner.”

-with AAP

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