New Zealand thrashed Australia 36-0 to retain the Bledisloe Cup for another year, at fortress Eden Park, Auckland.
The five-try victory continues New Zealand’s longstanding stranglehold on the trophy over their Trans-Tasman rivals stretching back to 2003.
The All Blacks gained revenge for last weekend’s 47-26 drubbing in Perth with a dominant display in the City of Sails as the Wallabies’ hopes of ending a 16-year Bledisloe Cup drought went down in flames.
Australia’s abject defeat increased the men in gold’s horrible run at the famous ground to 19 Tests without a win.
Were it not for some missed kicks; the loss would have been a record defeat.
The most impressive part of New Zealand‘s performance must be the defence; it’s not often an international team is nilled.
The Wallabies, searching for their first win at Eden Park since 1986, were the architects of their own downfall; the Kiwis punishing their sloppy opposition.
Steve Hansen was in charge of his 100th Test, his last at Eden Park, a stadium where he never lost as coach of the All Blacks.
Richie Mo’unga scored a try and kicked a penalty and three conversions for a match haul of 14 points
Aaron Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Sevu Reece and George Bridge also crossed as the World Champions.
Australia ill-discipline and handling mistakes prove costly, and All Blacks make them pay
Errors from Reece Hodge and Kurtley Beale led to two first-half tries by Mo’unga and Aaron Smith.
Mo’unga opened the scoring with a fourth-minute penalty.
Australia conceded a penalty at both their first lineout and scrum set-pieces to go with several handling errors as they struggled in the wet, greasy conditions.
Michael Cheika’s man slowly got themselves into the contest.
They should have scored through Marika Koroibete, after Samu Kerevi’s half-break, but the ball was turned over and the opportunity lost.
Lealiifano had two chances to level the scores, but he hit the left-hand post on 18 minutes and pushed another kick from almost the same position, four minutes later.
New Zealand made the visitors pay, scoring two tries in quick succession
Mo’unga dotted down first after a one-hand pick-up from a Hodge mistake.
The first-five raced 60 metres down the touchline to score the Test’s first try.
Bledisloe Cup Video Highlights: New Zealand versus Australia, Eden Park, Auckland
Hodge should have hung on to Beale’s pass; instead, his mistake costs five.
It was Beauden Barrett’s turn to set something up from an errant Beale clearance.
Barrett collected the stray kick, ran across the field to his left, and put George Bridge through a gap.
The winger put on the afterburners, coasting between Hodge and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto before drawing Beale and putting Aaron Smith away.
Mo’unga converted to make it 17-0 in the 34th minute.
Dane Coles was yellow-carded, the only blemish on the home team’s report card, but the Wallabies could not add any points during the hooker’s absence.
Mo’unga did miss a late first-half penalty.
The standard option would have been to kick to the corner and get the rolling maul going, but there are no bonus-points on offer in Bledisloe clashes outside the Rugby Championship.
All Blacks run away after the interval
It was too easy for Hansen’s men after the break.
They ran in two more scores and kept the Wallabies from getting any easy points, scoring six minutes after the restart.
The All Blacks had an attacking scrum. They broke blind off the back of the scrum with Ardie Savea packing down at No 8 and Read went to the flank.
The ball was played inside by Savea to Aaron Smith before Williams crashed over.
Australia had their chances but did not take them; instead, they surrendered meekly.
Jordie Barrett entered the game and made the impact for which he is renowned.
Reece toed Barrett’s grubber past Hodge – who was having a nightmare – rounded the winger and gathered before dotting down the All Blacks’ fourth.
Beauden Barrett took over kicking duties and added the extras.
There was still time for another score, two minutes from time when Bridge danced his way over after Ardie Savea’s turnover.
The Kiwis created the overlap, shifted the ball wide to Bridge, who cut inside three defenders to score.
Beauden Barrett missed the conversion, which kept Australia’s record defeat against the All Blacks intact.
The World Champs are still the team to beat.
Final Score: New Zealand 36 (17) Australia 0 (0)
Tries – Mo’unga, A. Smith, Williams, Reece, Bridge
Pen – Mo’unga
Con – Mo’unga (3), B. Barrett
Cards – Coles (Yellow, 37′)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Ref 1: Matthew Carley (RFU)
Assistant Ref 2: Shuhei Kubo (JRFU)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)
15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 George Bridge; 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Ardie Savea, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Patrick Tuipulotu, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Replacements: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Jackson Hemopo, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Thomas Perenara, 22 Ngani Laumape, 23 Jordie Barrett.
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Reece Hodge, 13 James O’Connor, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Wright, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper.