New Zealand 40-12 Australia: Beauden Barrett scores four tries in Rugby Championship win
Last Updated: 25/08/18 2:36pm
New Zealand fly-half Beauden Barrett scored four tries - and had another ruled out - as the All Blacks racked up a 40-12 Rugby Championship victory over Australia in Eden Park.
Barrett scored 30 points in total while Joe Moody and Liam Squire contributed tries as part of a 26-point All Blacks second half in a game which was remarkably similar to last week's encounter in Sydney.
The Wallabies, just as last week, enjoyed large periods of possession in the first half and had levelled things at 7-7 courtesy of a Will Genia try, but tries from New Zealand in the final minutes of the first period and opening stages of the second killed off the contest.
From there, New Zealand set about scoring at every opportunity and ruthlessly put away Michael Cheika's charges, with the overwhelming victory meaning the All Blacks retain the Bledisloe Cup, which they have held since 2003.
The Wallabies have now lost 22 matches in a row since 2001 in New Zealand and have not won at Eden Park since 1986.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen had warned in the lead-up to the Test that the biggest problem facing his world-champion side was the mindset to back up from last week's blowout 38-13 win in Sydney.
That did not appear an issue in a high-octane performance where they ran at every opportunity.
Their two first-half tries were both counter-attack moves from around their own 22-metre mark, the second coming against the run of play with just two minutes of the half left.
Ben Smith won the aerial battle from an Aaron Smith box kick to launch a run that led to Barrett's first try.
Smith was again in the action just before half-time, working with Codie Taylor down the right flank before Barrett finished the move with his second.
With Barrett having scored just before the break, Moody then struck straight after. In the space of five minutes' playing time, the All Blacks moved from 7-7 to 21-7.
As the All Blacks unleashed their attack in the second half they were too fast and accurate for the Wallabies and it was only a stubborn Australian defence that limited the damage.
After Moody's try to open the second half, Liam Squire scored and Barrett did twice more.
The black mark for the All Blacks was their scrum, which did not function as well as they would have wanted with tighthead prop Owen Franks celebrating his milestone 100th Test.
The Wallabies' first try came from their confidence in trading shots at goal for scrums as they won three penalties in a row through their revamped front row midway through the first half.
When the All Blacks scrum finally stayed up long enough to be completed, Will Genia scooted around the side for the easiest of tries.
But the All Blacks again had the better of the lineouts, with Australia's jumping options compromised by their decision to persist with playing both Michael Hooper and David Pocock in the backrow.
Reece Hodge notched Australia's second when Bernard Foley made an incisive break off a scrum near halfway, but the visitors never threatened to get back into it.
And the result could have been even worse for Australia as Barrett and Waisake Naholo had further tries ruled out on TMO reviews - Barrett's for an Ardie Savea knock on earlier in the move, and Naholo's for a Ngani Laumpae forward pass.
Incredibly, in 2018 New Zealand have now scored 136 second-half points, and only conceded 19 points during the second period of games.
They next host Argentina in Nelson on September 8, while Australia play South Africa in Brisbane later the same day, both live on Sky Sports.