New Zealand recorded their biggest win over the Australians since 1996 and their biggest ever victory on Australian soil when they inflicted a heavy 42-8 defeat on Australia in the opening game of The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup in front of 65,328 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
First half injuries to Matt Giteau (ankle), Matt Toomua (head) and Rob Horne (arm) depleted the home side, while the visitors looked slick from the beginning, running in four tries early tries to take an unassailable 32-3 lead into the break.
New Zealand, clinical and powerful took full advantage of Australia’s troubles to run away with the match and put a strong stamp on the 2016 Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup.
The Wallabies registered first points for the night through a penalty goal to Bernard Foley in the 3rd minute of the match, but from there on it was all about New Zealand.
Ryan Crotty outpaced three defenders on his way to the tryline, finishing superbly after he found open space off some slick All Blacks passing.
After a pair of penalty goals to stretch the lead out to 13-3, it was Beauden Barrett who tore through the Wallabies defence to score the visitors’ second try.
Five minutes later the New Zealanders were in again, after Jerome Kaino charged down a Foley kick and regathered himself to score.
Waisake Naholo finished off some more sublime lead up work to register the visitors’ fourth try on the stroke of half time.
Down to the bare minimum in available backs and with reserve scrumhalf Nick Phipps occupying the left wing, the Wallabies fought hard in the opening fifteen minutes of the second half before eventually the All Blacks struck again, this time through replacement hooker Dane Coles.
Coles try was quickly followed by another on the opposite side of the field to replacement winger Julian Savea, extending the lead to 42-3, where it would stay until Phipps finally broke through for the only try of the Test for the Wallabies with five minutes left to play.
It was a five-star performance from All Blacks man of the match Beauden Barrett, who orchestrated the midfield masterfully and finished the night with 17 points from a try, three conversions and two penalty goals.
The Wallabies continue their Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship campaign with a return clash against New Zealand in Wellington next Saturday.
New Zealand 42 (Ryan Crotty, Beauden Barrett, Jerome Kaino, Waisake Naholo, Dane Coles, Julian Savea tries; Beauden Barrett 3 cons; 2 pens)
Australia 8 (Nick Phipps try; Bernard Foley pen)