CHAMPIONSHIP

All Blacks achieve Bledisloe clean sweep with win over Wallabies

Strong unrelenting defence, brilliant play on the flank by Akira Ioane, and an ability to remain on song in the face of controversy, the All Blacks achieved their Bledisloe Cup clean sweep with a 38–21 win while completing a bonus point Fortinet Rugby Championship win over Australia in Perth.

New Zealand lost fullback Jordie Barrett after 27 minutes, and then had captain and flanker Ardie Savea and hooker Codie Taylor fail HIA tests in the first half.

That tested the leadership that was already stressed in the absence of Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock and Aaron Smith, but an unrelenting defensive desire stood the side proud which spoke to the depth they can call on.

Relishing the mid-afternoon conditions, New Zealand ran rampant against an Australian side that paid the price for desperation that the All Blacks were able to capitalise on. Australia was fortunate the goalkicking of the All Blacks was the only part of their game off-tune or the score might have been greater.

While Australia scored first after being down 0-18 at the half, the All Blacks responded quickly when, from an Australian 22m drop out, the ball was flung wide where Akira Ioane picked up the ball, beat three defenders, charged ahead and fed wing Will Jordan in for the try.

Australia built another strong base and looked to be stretching the defence only for another pass to be intercepted and this time it was second five-eighths David Havili who ran 80 metres to just make it and extend the score to 28-7.

New Zealand had a try ruled out when replacement fullback Damian McKenzie caught a rebound from Beauden Barrett in front of him. Then, the Australians responded with a good scrum that saw Koroibete in from the wing. Replacement flanker Peter Samu charged hard and passed to replacement halfback Nick White who scored.https://www.youtube.com/embed/6N-Pfm_HjGE?feature=oembed&rel=0

But again, a rampant Ioane was in the action again to set up a 68th minute try for centre Anton Lienert-Brown, only moments after a similar sideline break had just failed to provide a try for replacement halfback TJ Perenara.

In the 72nd minute, Perenara pulled off another intercept and, while lacking the legs to go the distance, he changed direction and kicked to the left where replacement wing George Bridge was able to take the ball to score.

In the first half the All Blacks gained the ascendancy on the back of two Beauden Barrett kicks, one off the left foot towards the left flank was run back by Australia, and the second a grubber kick from a resulting ruck, created the first try after 17 minutes. Wing Will Jordan chased the grubber kick through, waited for the favourable bounce, then took the ball and passed to halfback Brad Weber.

He had Jordie Barrett looming outside and give him the pass for him to run in by the posts.

An early try to Australia was lost after a breakout in the wake of a chargedown by the All Blacks deep in Australian territory.

From the maul, second five-eighths Samu Kerevi took the ball from a breakdown and broke to give the ball to wing Mariki Koroibete. He got the ball down on the line in Beauden Barrett’s tackle but the TMO ruled Kerevi was in front of the ball when he took it from the ruck and the try was disallowed

However, 11 minutes later, Jordie Barrett was sent off when in the process of taking a high kick he threw a leg out, in the manner common in the modern game, only for it to catch the head of Koroibete. Under the changed law for the tournament, they were able to replace him once 20 minutes had passed.

Australia missed another try-scoring chance when from the midst of a lineout drive Koroibete went to ground with the ball and then crawled forward to claim the try, however a TMO check showed his act was illegal. It typified the lack of clarity Australia demonstrated whenever getting into the 22m area.

They too often succumbed to desperation, resulting in errors, and especially penalties. They conceded 10 to the All Blacks six in the first half. However, they were not helped when first five-eighths Noah Lolesio missed an easy penalty goal chance in the 26th minute.

Their early lineouts, and scrums, failed to provide the secure base they needed to launch from. The All Blacks were more ruthless while also being prepared to launch counter-attacks with the Ioane brothers Rieko and Akira, both leading strong breaks.

Australia scored first in the second half, just as the All Blacks were restored to 15 with Damian McKenzie on the field. They benefited from another lineout loss by the All Blacks and when halfback Tate McDermott broke he created room which saw play carried to the line and Kerevi, acting as halfback, put the ball in hooker Folau Fainga’a hands who scored.

Story courtesy/All Blacks

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