Sport Union All Blacks turn on the magic in Japan to claim a Bledisloe clean sweep

All Blacks turn on the magic in Japan to claim a Bledisloe clean sweep

bledisloe cup in japan
Beauden Barrett scores in the All Blacks 37-20 win over the Wallabies. Photo: Getty
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The All Blacks have completed a Bledisloe Cup whitewash in Japan with a dazzling 37-20 win over the struggling Wallabies.

Piling on five tries to the Australians’ two, the number-one ranked All Blacks looked to be well acquainted with the stadium that will host the World Cup final in a year’s time.

In front of a 46,613 strong crowd – the largest for a Test in Japan – the fans were gifted with a 80 minutes of pure entertainment, with the All Blacks putting on a show with their slick passing.

However, after a tough year producing just three wins from 10 starts, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will be buoyed by the fight of his team, who staged a strong mid-match fightback to strike fear into the All Blacks camp.

Although the Bledisloe Cup was already in the hands of New Zealand, which won the first two encounters in the series, there was still plenty to play for as the Wallabies looked to restore some pride as they head to the northern hemisphere for three Tests.

The signs were good early for the Australians, with pressure on the All Blacks defence almost resulting in a try when Dayne Haylett-Petty was pushed into touch just shy of the try line in only the second minute.

Under the pump, it would not take the world champions long to get themselves into the contest, with some excellent counter-attack play resulting in the opening try from Kiwi flanker Liam Squire.

Kurtley Beale and Beauden Barrett traded penalties, before the Wallabies defence gave up a soft try to Kieran Read to give the All-Blacks a commanding 17-3 lead.

The Wallabies would hit back in the moments before the half-time break, with Sefa Naivalu muscling his way over to trim the margin to seven.

A fired-up Wallabies outfit re-emerged from the main break with good effect, as Bernard Foley booted a penalty.

However, the class of the All Blacks shone through in the form of a breathtaking try by Barrett, breaking the deadlock.

A yellow card to Australian hooker Tolu Latu made things tough for the Wallabies’ push for a comeback victory.

The dagger would come just one minute later, with a try to Ben Smith increasing the margin to 19 with 10 minutes to play.

A consolation try by Israel Folau came as a small relief for the Wallabies, before a freakish between-the-legs pass by Smith gifted man of the match Reiko Ioane his first try of the match.

The result saw Michael Cheika’s record against New Zealand slump to nine losses and one win, as the All-Blacks completed their second Bledisloe Cup sweep in the past three years.

After their poor performances thus far in 2018, it doesn’t get any easier for the Wallabies as they head to the northern hemisphere for tests against Wales, Italy and England starting on November 11.

Watch the highlights

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