Australia 34-54 New Zealand: All Blacks rack up record points tally against Wallabies
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 19/08/17 7:32pm
New Zealand registered a record points tally over Australia in a Test match as they began their Rugby Championship defence with a crushing 54-34 victory in Sydney.
The All Blacks scored eight tries through Liam Squire, Rieko Ioane (2), Ryan Crotty (2), Sonny Bill Williams, Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith.
Australia scored four of their own in the second period through Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau to add some respectability to the scoreline.
Australia now travel to face the All Blacks in Dunedin next Saturday.
A frenetic start saw Australia break around the corner after lovely hands from second-row Sam Arnold and prop Scott Sio, and after several phases of pressure New Zealand were pinged for offside under their own posts and Bernard Foley stepped up to give the Wallabies a 3-0 lead after four minutes.
New Zealand responded within five minutes though through blindside flanker Squire, who showed great pace to burn past Samu Kerevi and race into the corner after McKenzie had make the original break and Kieran Read showed great hands to ship it on.
Australia responded with more forays into the 22 and after Owen Franks was pinged for pushing early and going to his knees at the next scrum, Foley kicked his second penalty of the game to bring them back to within one at 7-6 down.
From the restart the All Blacks regained possession off a short kick-off, however, and after McKenzie and Ben Smith made good yards, New Zealand generated quick ball to Ioane, who checked Folau and finished well in the same corner that Squire had before him for their second try.
Ioane had his second and New Zealand's third try two minutes later after Crotty intercepted Foley's pass and shipped it onto the wing, who sprinted clear under the sticks.
Crotty then scored a try of his own as Australia could not live with the All Blacks' intensity and pace.
A flowing move started when prop Joe Moody sold a dummy and made good ground before offloading to lock Brodie Retallick, who produced a wonderful step, and from there quick ball saw Beauden Barrett find Crotty and the centre dived over from close range for a 26-6 lead after just 26 minutes.
Williams then crashed over for his 11th Test try on 34 minutes as he bulldozed past Speight and went over with the Australia defence increasingly porous after more quick ball from an All Black five-metre lineout.
In the final minute of the half Australia were penalised in their 22 again and after Read called a scrum, a set-piece move saw Crotty go over once more after Williams drew in two men.
Amazingly, after Barrett's conversion, the All Blacks went in at the break with a lead of 40-6; a scoring rate of a point a minute.
Two minutes into the second period and the onslaught continued as Barrett ripped the ball off Hooper on half-way and found Ioane, who fed McKenzie on his shoulder with a clear run-in for his first Test try.
Ben Smith got in on the act after Squire cut through three attempted Wallby tackles and his namesake Aaron Smith found him on the inside, before Australia scored their first tries of the game through Rona on debut and replacement Kuridrani.
Beale kept the spirited Wallabies response going when he raced away for an intercept try before Folau collected a ball which went to deck off Kuridrani's knee and ran in to rack up 34 points for Australia with 10 minutes to go, but that proved to be the end of the scoring.