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HomeRugbyHow All Blacks won Bledisloe Cup game two

How All Blacks won Bledisloe Cup game two

The All Blacks continued their incredible dominance over the Wallabies at Eden Park, and Australia’s coach Dave Rennie, producing their best performance of an inconsistent year to sweep the Bledisloe Cup 2-0.

After a torrid and scoreless opening 20 minutes, the hosts piled on 17 unanswered points in seven frantic minutes. Unlike a week ago, where the Wallabies overcame an 18-point deficit to lead before late heartbreak, the All Blacks simply went on with the job on Saturday as the Wallabies dissolved into errors and missed tackles.

Their 40-14 win was the fifth game running they’ve piled on 30+ points against the Wallabies and the only comforting fact was it was an improvement on the record 57 points shipped here the last time Rennie brought his team to Auckland.

But the loss was Rennie’s seventh, with one win and one draw, from his nine games against New Zealand. His overall coaching record must be a concern, although Rugby Australia boss Hamish McLennan guaranteed the coach would keep his place through until the end of next year’s World Cup in France.

Rennie bemoaned the officiating in Melbourne last week, and put the blowtorch on his players when they were thumped in Argentina earlier this campaign. As a coach he has had 15 loss, three draws and 11 wins from his 29 games in charge since joining in November 2019. That’s a win percentage of 37.93.

Rennie has constantly complained about his team’s lack of discipline, and there was no escaping the issue again. Jed Holloway was yellow carded on two minutes, setting the tone.

The All Blacks pressure was relentless, and unlike Melbourne they never backed off.

Nic White of the Wallabies scuffles with Akira Ioane of the All Blacks during The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Eden Park on September 24, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Nic White of the Wallabies scuffles with Akira Ioane. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

“One thing about lack of discipline it’s not always because of foul play or poor decisions it’s because of the pressure the All Blacks are putting them under,” said former Wallabies player Drew Mitchell on Stan Sport.

“Because they are feeling so much pressure it means that they’re entering the breakdown wrong or going off their feet. They’re just they’re under so much pressure to halt that momentum that the All Blacks have.”

The All Blacks couldn’t get on the board until a penalty in the 20th minute but then they settled into a groove.

Pete Samu, who was otherwise strong, gave away a penalty for leaving his feet deep in All Blacks territory and the hosts screamed down the other end. Will Jordan finished off a sharp move – his 21st try in his 21st Test – leaving replacement Jordan Petaia, on for injured Lalakai Foketi in his dust.

A penalty try followed within minutes and the All Blacks went to the sheds 17-0 up after Marika Koroibete blew the Wallabies’ best chance, stepping into touch before placing the ball down in the left corner.

Australia had more chances but the New Zealand defence was excellent, repelling raid after raid, while – more ill discipline – Dave Porecki spent time in the sin bin, which denied them the chance to play their game.

The All Blacks came out the stronger from the break, and were helped by some strange calls by referee Andrew Brace who missed a late hit on Len Ikitau by Ethan De Groot and another where Reece Hodge collected a head in his face. Nic White was put in his place by Brace for arguing about De Groot’s hit, and there’s a sense building that officials are getting sick of the Australian verbal approach

But Rennie can have few complaints.

“After 10 days ago in Melbourne when there was so much hype and so much opportunity for the Wallabies to come to Eden Park… their performance where they’ve missed so many b tackles, one-on-one tackles, 25 missed tackles in this match, and gave away too many penalties,” said Tim Horan.

“It’s such a fortress. It’s just been another masterclass from this All Black team.”

All Blacks great Andrew Mertens said: “It was just hard to see how the points accumulated so quickly. It didn’t help the Wallabies being down to 14 men a couple of times.

“But when the All Blacks are able to just lift that tempo, it’s very hard for a team to stay with them. Their support play, their communication, their skill level is all normally a cut above. They haven’t been quite as consistent this year as they would have liked in terms of their skills, but when it comes together it’s something to watch.”

Wallabies captain James Slipper bemoaned his team’s discipline. “I’m gutted the way we played tonight. It just wasn’t good enough. We had a lot of confidence coming in, but the ABs are too good, clearly.”

Allana Ferguson said the Australians “crumbled” under the pressure. “They weren’t able to transfer it and transfer it and it happened in different ways through the game.”

Former Wallabies lock Justin Harrison defended the effort, if not the execution.

“It’s important to recognise that New Zealand don’t have a mortgage on the jersey and national pride Harrison said. We have the same amount of pride. We had some adversity thrown at us. We had 25 missed tackles and 13-14 handling errors. That’s not a lack of pride. Let’s erase this thing that New Zealand have a fear of losing so they never lose.”



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