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Awesome All Blacks batter Australia

Beauden Barrett of the New Zealand All Blacks scores a try during The Rugby Championship game between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australia Wallabies at Eden Park

New Zealand walloped Australia 40-12, retaining the Bledisloe Cup at Eden Park, Auckland with another Rugby Championship bonus-point victory.

Beauden Barrett scored four tries – and had one chalked off – in a scintillating display reminiscent of Dan Carter against the British and Irish Lions in 2005.

Like a Dutch grandmaster, Barrett is unrivalled.

The ball his paintbrush and the field his canvas, the 27-year-old weaved his genius, bending the game to his will.


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This kind of brilliance and beauty, for which such artistry is reserved is the stuff of legend.

The first-five eight had a remarkable day, scoring his 30th Test try with his fourth, collecting 30 points in the process in a Man of the Match performance of the ages.

Barrett becomes the first All Black to score a quartet of tries in a Bledisloe Cup clash.

The flyhalf has now scored 43 points and five tries in the two trans-Tasman matches, silencing his critics.

Australia had not won at Eden Park since 1987, 18 games and more than 11,000 days ago, while the hosts keep their unbeaten run at the famous ground since 1994.

The Test, like last week in Sydney, was a tight affair in the first half before the World Champions ran away with the game after the interval.

Steve Hansen’s men ran in six tries to two, scoring 26 points in the second half in a game that parallelled the opening game of the Rugby Championship.

Owen Franks played his 100th Test, continuing his world record for Tests played without scoring a try.

Brodie Retallick had another monumental match, stripping Australia a couple of times, one which started the counter-attack for Barrett’s fourth (having done it two minutes earlier for Barrett’s disallowed try).

Retallick was a colossus at the breakdown and with the ball in hand.

He caused havoc at the lineout, stealing Aussie ball with ease and sent Liam Squire away for the flank’s score.

Jordie Barrett excelled at fullback, but it was Ben Smith, a pillar of strength anywhere in the back three.

The wing was safe as houses under the high ball and a threat every time he was in possession.

His jinking runs turned Wallaby defenders inside out, and he had a hand in three of the six tries.

Smith’s namesake Aaron, proved again why he is the world’s premier scrumhalf.

The 29-year-old controlled the game expertly. His decision making is precision; he is the catalyst for all things good and his kicking is on a par with the great Fourie du Preez.

Michael Cheika is on borrowed time. Australia has regressed under his watch, and are as far away from New Zealand as ever.

His team started well again but squandered multiple opportunities through poor decision making, botching a seven on three in the first half that epitomised the gulf in class between the teams.

Australia’s long wait for a win in the land of the long white cloud continues.

Like last week, the Wallabies stayed the pace with their hosts, levelling the scores in the 30th minute.

David Pocock was immense for the Wallabies, winning penalties at the ruck, battering the All Blacks line with his runs while almost knocking out Squire with a huge hit.

Beauden Barrett opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Ben Smith won a high ball which was recycled at lightning speed before Aaron Smith played him through a gap to score under the posts.

Australia had their chances but kept turning over possession inside the opposition’s 22.

Kurtley Beale went close, but the move broke down when the tight forwards found themselves at first and second receiver which led to the botched overlap.

Credit to the visitors, they kept on pushing for an equaliser.

When it came, it was well-deserved. Several reset scrums and two penalties for collapsing led to Will Genia’s 15th Test try.

Wayne Barnes took no notice of Michael Hooper’s remonstrations that his side should be awarded more than a penalty for repeated scrum-infringements.

Eventually, New Zealand stayed up. Beale went to the right, then left behind the scrum, dragging Aaron Smith wide before Genia slipped through a gap and dotted down.

Foley levelled but that was as close as the Aussies would get.

New Zealand did what they always do – scored just before the break, and soon afterwards.

The All Blacks went end-to-end with another sweeping counter-attack from inside their 22.

Beauden Barrett started the counter, the ball was recycled and Ben Smith, Codie Taylor, brother Jordie Barrett and Aaron Smith all combined for the standoff’s second.

It was glorious.

Hansen’s team, famous for their flair for the theatrical, showed they could also turn to a power-based close-quarters attack.

Soon after the break, they went 13 phases with pick and goes and one-off runners before Codie Taylor crashed over the whitewash. Easy as you like.

Five minutes later, a promising attack inside the Kiwis’ 22 broke down with a knock on during a driving maul.

From the resulting scrum, the All Blacks finished off the tiring opponents.

Ngani Laumape bashed over the gain line and was tackled near halfway.

Aaron Smith went to his right, the All blacks shifted the ball through the hands and Retallick put Squire through a big gap to score under the sticks.

At 28-7 down with half an hour to play, the game was up, but the home team’s hunger was not sated.

Jordie Barrett went close but was tackled into touch by Bernard Foley.

Foley was involved soon after, but this time on the attack.

The standoff slipped Aaron Smith’s tackle and offloaded to the supporting Reece Hodge for the try.

Australia was wilting while their hosts got stronger.

The All Blacks are famed for their supreme fitness; it helps them win close games in the final quarter as well as romping away in one-sided routs.

This was the latter.

Barrett had his hat-trick on the hour.

Hooper jumped the line and the flyhalf attacked Rob Simmons’ channel.

He skinned the lock and sped away from Beale and Dane Haylett-Petty for a sublime treble.

He thought he had his fourth, but it was chalked off by the TMO after a replay showed that Ardie Savea had knocked on in the build-up.

It was inconsequential because less than 90 seconds later, another majestic break from inside their own 22, saw the world’s best player grab another.

Damian McKenzie’s weaving run to the halfway line set up a sensational score after a Retallick turnover.

McKenzie took Perenara’s pass and dazzled the defenders.

As always, the support came in droves before Ben Smith put Barrett away in the corner.

Waisake Naholo had a try ruled out for a forward pass before the end of the Beauden Barrett Show.

New Zealand versus Australia video highlights

Final score: New Zealand 40 (14) Australia 12 (7)

Scorers

New Zealand
Tries – B. Barrett (4), Taylor, Squire
Pen –
Con – B. Barrett (5)
Drop –
Cards –

Australia
Tries – Genia, Hodge
Pen –
Con – Foley
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Ref 1: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Ref 2: Luke Pearce (RFU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)

Teams

New Zealand

15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Waisake Naholo, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.

Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Damian McKenzie, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown.

Australia

15 Dane Haylett-Petty, 14 Jack Maddocks, 13 Reece Hodge, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Tui, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Ala’alatoa, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio.

Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Tom Banks.