New Zealand defeated Australia 38-13 in the first Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney on Saturday.
The world champions scored six tries to one in a match which also doubles as the Rugby Championship opener, for their third win at the ANZ Stadium in as many years.
Here, we take a look at the key stats from the match.
142: metres made by All Blacks winger Waisake Naholo. The Fijian-born star used his speed and nimble footwork to dissect the opposition defence with ease.
13: defenders beaten by Naholo. The Highlanders man beat seven more defenders than any other player, with teammates Jack Goodhue (6) and Ben Smith (5) following behind.
2: Tries scored by Naholo in a virtuous display. His first try in particular was a gem, using his pace to collect a cleverly weighed kick from Beauden Barrett to score.
90: percentage tackle success rate for David Pocock. The Wallabies back-rower completed 18 out of 20 tackles and put his body on the line at every opportunity to disrupt the All Blacks momentum.
11: tackles made by Goodhue. The Crusaders man scored a try, made 140 metres and did not miss one tackle in a stunning performance.
5: tackles missed by winger Marika Koroibete, who for a former rugby league player was highly inconsistent in defence.
9: turnovers conceded between Beauden Barrett (5) and Naholo (4). Although it might seem a high error count, both were the stand-out players at the ANZ Stadium. Barrett scored a try and assisted Naholo’s first, while the Fijian-born star scored two and assisted Aaron Smith in the first half.
75: percentage success rate at line-out time for the All Blacks in contrast to 41 percent success rate for the Wallabies.
6: penalties conceded by the Wallabies front row in comparison to just one by the All Blacks.
Danny Cipriani must appear before an independent disciplinary hearing next week as the fallout from his nightclub scuffle developed into a row between Gloucester and Twickenham.
Cipriani has been charged with conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game by the Rugby Football Union and could face a fine and/or ban if the complaint lodged is upheld.
The England fly-half was fined £2,000 by Jersey Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to charges of common assault and resisting arrest following an incident that took place on Gloucester’s pre-season tour to Jersey.
He was also ordered to pay £250 compensation for the bruised neck suffered by a policewoman during the confrontation at the Royal Yacht Hotel in St Helier in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
It was initially suggested that Cipriani would escape censure from Twickenham with Eddie Jones making a call on his England future in the coming weeks, only for head of discipline David Barnes to issue the charge on the basis of his convictions.
The unexpected development has infuriated Gloucester, who claim the RFU has acted only in response to the publicity generated by the story.
“We are surprised and extremely disappointed,” chief executive Stephen Vaughan said.
“Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon I received a personal assurance from the RFU that no disciplinary discussions would take place until we had completed our own conversations.
“There is no historic precedent of a player being singled out in this manner and we feel that this disciplinary process has been influenced by the significant media coverage of this week’s events and other external factors.
“We do not believe that this decision and the subsequent unnecessary public attention that will now follow it is in the best interests of either the RFU, the club, the player nor the game in general.”
However, it is understood that the RFU disputes Vaughan’s claim that any assurance was given to Gloucester over the timing of its own inquiry.
The renewal of club v country hostilities came just hours after Cipriani had been omitted from the squad for Gloucester’s pre-season friendly against Ulster.
He was left out of the 31-man party chosen for the trip to Kingspan Stadium to enable him to negotiate the aftermath of the latest disciplinary lapse to have propelled him into the headlines.
As the club’s marquee signing for the new Gallagher Premiership campaign, he had been expected to be involved in the first of only two pre-season friendlies arranged before the league opener against Northampton on September 1.
It is understood that the 30-year-old playmaker has travelled to Belfast with his team-mates but, in the wake of the Jersey incident, will now be confined to a watching brief and will instead be given his debut against the Dragons at Kingsholm on Thursday.
An England career that produced its first start in a decade against South Africa in June remains shrouded in doubt with Jones to make a call on his future in the coming weeks as the autumn series at Twickenham looms.
Sir Clive Woodward, England’s 2003 World Cup-winning coach and a long-term admirer of Cipriani’s, has called for Cipriani to be discarded by Jones.
Winger Waisake Naholo scored a double as New Zealand recovered from a slow start to overrun Australia 38-13 on Saturday and extend the Wallabies’ Bledisloe Cup jinx in Sydney.
The world champions scored six tries to one in the first Test, which also doubles as the Rugby Championship opener, for their third win at ANZ Stadium in as many years.
Australia’s hopes of claiming the Bledisloe for the first time since 2002 now rest on winning the second Test in the three-match series next week at Eden Park, where they have not tasted victory since 1986.
Here’s our report card from a one-sided contest in Sydney.
Stunning Naholo – There was nobody more exciting on the field than the Fijian-born winger. He assisted Aaron Smith for the opening try and scored two of his own late in the second half. The 27-year-old also made 140 metres and beat 13 defenders. His pace, power and skill level was head and shoulders above any other player in Sydney.
Clinical All Blacks – The visitors put 38 points on the scoreboard in the last 37 minutes, scoring six tries with six attacking opportunities. Every time they touched the ball it turned to gold. Their strike power was simply too much for the Wallabies and that is why they are world champions.
Wallabies lack killer instinct – Australia weren’t able to hold on to possession (43%/47%), missed tackles (40) and gave away easy turnovers (18). In the first half, they had so much possession but were unable to convert their chances into points. Had three clear try chances but were unable to beat the All Blacks’ defence.
First 38 mins for All Blacks: Trailing 6-0, the visitors looked a frustrated unit and were unable to breach a granite-like Wallabies defensive wall. It wasn’t until Smith’s try just before half-time that they looked like they’d found their confidence.
39 minutes – After soaking up pressure, Ben Smith cut through, passed to Naholo who flicked the ball inside to Kieran Read. The captain offloaded to Smith to touch down for his 14th career try in his 73rd Test.
43 minutes – Marika Koroibete is isolated in a one-on-one situation with Naholo, who strips the ball from him and launches an attack. Beauden Barrett spreads it through the backs and youngster Jack Goodhue skips through under the posts for his first All Blacks try.
52 minutes – Barrett picks up loose possession and was like a football star at the World Cup, showing great footwork, pace and composure to beat Will Genia in a foot race to score.
64 minutes – The move started with Brodie Retallick turning over the ball. It was shifted wide and a number of phases later, the lock popped up to sell a dummy and score.
66 minutes – Michael Hooper intercepts the ball and feeds Jack Maddocks who slaloms over on his debut to cut the deficit.
73 minutes – Barrett sends a cleverly weighted kick into the corner that Naholo collects and dots over for the All Blacks’ fifth.
74 minutes – Naholo walks over a tired Wallabies defence for his second try.
TACTICAL TURNING POINTS
The All Blacks simply lifted the intensity in the second half and the Wallabies struggled to stay with them. Steve Hansen’s side looked dangerous in loose play and their transition from defence into attack was outstanding.
It was the sheer ferocity of their speed, skill and general game management that made the difference in Sydney. They had six chances and scored six tries, whereas the Wallabies just couldn’t get points on the board when they forayed into decent attacking positions.
The Wallabies had every chance to capitalise on their chances in the first half, but the All Blacks scrambling defence was remarkable to restricting them to just six points.
The visitors duly upped the intensity after the break and went on to put 38 points on the board in the final 37 minutes, whereas a disappointing Australia could only manage one try. The All Blacks were simply too strong, too organised and too good.