Beauden Barrett bamboozles outclassed Wallabies in our Bledisloe Cup report card

Alex Broun 25/08/2018
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Jordie and Beauden Barrett (r) celebrate with the Bledisloe Cup in Auckland

Beauden Barrett became the first man in history to score 30 points against Australia in a Test as the world champion All Blacks waltzed to a 40-12 victory at Eden Park, and in so doing retained the Bledisloe Cup for a scarcely believable 16th year in a row.

The Wallabies kept pace early on and were trailing just 14-7 at half-time, but in the second-half the relentless pace and skills of the All Blacks took its toll as they scored another four tries to run out comfortable victors.

Barrett’s four tries also equaled South Africa’s Jongi Nokwe as the most tries ever scored against Australia in a Test.

Here’s our report card from a one-sided contest in Auckland.

THE GOOD

Beauden Barrett: Scarcely believable from a player who many were calling to be dropped after a mixed Super Rugby campaign. The middle Barrett brother was simply unplayable, whether it was running, passing or kicking. Everything good the All Blacks did came from BB and when he felt like he just did it all himself as his four tries attest.

Wallabies spirit: No one can blame the Wallabies for effort. They worked hard right up till the 80th minute, trying to score tries, hold back the All Black wave, keep the score respectable. It is not the effort that can be faulted but the bone headed game plan that is simply trying to out All Black the All Blacks. It is playing ‘All Blacks lite’ rugby and it is never going to work when you come up against the real thing.

THE BAD

All Blacks defence: This was a performance from the world champions that was hard to fault and it begs the question, is this the greatest All Blacks team ever. In attack they were unstoppable – 1099 metres from 142 runs, 13 line breaks, 15 off loads and five phases seven or over. Steve Hansen though is always seeking perfection and will not be happy with the 28 missed tackles, for an 85 per cent tackle success rate.

Wallabies mistakes: If you are going to beat the All Blacks, especially at Eden Park where they have not lost for a quarter of a century, you cannot make mistakes. But the Wallabies missed 37 tackles from a total of 146 – just an 80 per cent tackle rate. They also made 12 handling errors and conceded nine penalties. Hardly mistake free rugby.

KEY MOMENTS

12 mins: Ben Smith takes a high kick from Aaron Smith and a half break from Jordie Barrett is completed with the simplest run in from his brother Beauden. Barrett converts his own try. All Blacks 7-0.

27 mins: Wallabies backing their scrum five metres out. Repeated penalties against the All Blacks but no card from referee Wayne Barnes. But from the next scrum Kurtley Beale runs a great decoy and Will Genia darts over himself. Bernard Foley converts. 7-7.

38 minutes: Classic All Blacks. Wallabies deep in attack but Beale spills it. The All Blacks counter-attack rather than kick. They swing it wide where Codie Taylor and Ben Smith combine to take it well down field. Ben Smith is pulled down inches short but Aaron Smith finds Beauden Barrett who dives over. He converts his own try. All Blacks 14-7

61 mins: Ball on the halfway line and not much happening but Beauden Barrett just turns on the jet shoes and races 50 metres to score under the posts. His third of the night which he converts. All Blacks 35-12.

68 mins: A turnover from Retallick in the ABs 22, they go wide straight away and replacement Damian McKenzie sprints away. He finds Ben Smith who finds Beauden Barrett who dives in the corner. He becomes the first ever All Black to score four tries against the Wallabies. Just to show he’s human he misses the conversion. All Blacks lead 40-12.

80 mins: The Wallabies attack but Jack Maddocks is bundled into touch. Full time. All Blacks win 40-12 and retain the Bledisloe Cup.

TACTICAL TURNING POINTS

After the thrashing last weekend in Sydney, Australian captain Michael Hooper said the Wallabies “have a plan” for this Saturday at Eden Park.

Whatever Hooper might profess the Wallabies’ only plan seems to be to try and play like the All Blacks – but they just don’t do it as well.

Australia managed to keep pace with the world champions in the opening period but after the break the relentless tempo of the All Blacks just could not be stopped. Two tries in the first seven minutes of the second-half put it out of reach for the Wallabies.

GRADE:

WALLABIES: B –

You cannot fault the Wallabies’ endeavor but although they improved I nearly every facet – and managed tri score two tries to the one in Sydney – they still ended up losing by three points more – 28 to 25 in Sydney.

ALL BLACKS: A –

As good as they were the All Blacks can still be better. They made 17 handling errors and lost three of their own lineouts. Their scrum was also penalized regularly. Hansen will see a lot that can be improved before they Argentina in Nelson in a fortnight.

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As it happened: All Blacks thrash Wallabies again to retain Bledisloe Cup

Alex Broun 25/08/2018
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Aaron Smith congratulates Beauden Barrett after his first try.

All Blacks fly-half Beauden Barrett became the first ever New Zealand player to score four tries against Australia as the ABs defeated the Wallabies 40-12 at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday and retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 16th straight year.

Here is how the game unfolded:

5 mins: The Wallabies lineout woes continue as Australia lose an early throw in.

9mins: Some good Wallabies possession with some strong runs from Lukhan Tui and Adam Coleman. But a poor kick from Kurtley Beale goes out on the full. Great attacking opportunity lost.

12mins: Ben Smith takes a high kick from Aaron Smith and a half break from Jordie Barrett is completed with the simplest run in from his brother Beauden. BB converts his own try. All Blacks 7-0.

14mins: Wallabies deep on attack. Appalling decision from Wayne Barnes. Regulation clean out from the Wallabies is penalized, something the All Blacks do 1000 times a game. Absurd refereeing and All Blacks back in possession.

18 mins: Poor pass from Jack Goodhue and Wallabies have a chance but Barnes blows a penalty for the Wallabies.

19 mins: Barnes again penalizes Wallabies in possession for tacking beyond the ruck.

24 mins: Superb play from the Wallabies – break from Beale who finds Marika Koroibete who finds Beale again. But Aaron Smith intercepts a metre out.

27 mins: Wallabies backing their scrum five metres out. Repeated penalties against the All Blacks but no card from Barnes. But from the next scrum Beale runs a great decoy and Genia darts over himself. Bernard Foley converts. 7-7.

34 minutes: Sustained attack from the All Blacks but superb defence from the Wallabies repels the advances and then David Pocock wins a turnover.

38 minutes: Classic All Blacks. Wallabies deep in attack but Beale spills it. The All Blacks counter-attack rather than kick. They swing it wide where Codie Taylor and Ben Smith combine to take it well down field. Ben Smith is pulled down inches short but Aaron Smith finds Beauden Barrett who dives over. He converts his own try. All Blacks 14-7

40 minutes: Half-time. Great 40 minutes for Australia but the Wallabies are clearly exhausted. All Blacks could run away with it in the second-half.

44 mins: Almost just to prove a point the All Blacks keep it tight and batter away at the Wallabies pack close to the line. Some big defence from Adam Coleman but the Abs keep battering and Joe Moody goes over. A big win psychologically for NZ. All Blacks lead 21-7.

47 mins: Great break from Ngami Laumape. Superb pop pass from Brodie Retallick to Liam Squire who slices through the Wallabies defence to score under the posts. Looking like a cricket score now. All Blacks 28-7.

51 mins: Beale again spills it and Goodhue feeds Waisake Naholo who breaks and then feeds Jordie Barrett who races towards the line, but great cover defence from Foley saves the try.

54 mins: Terrible defence from the All Blacks. Aaron Smith misses Foley blind from a scrum and the fly-half breaks down field before feeding Reece Hodge to run-in. Foley misses conversion. All Blacks 28-12.

61 mins: Ball on the halfway line and not much happening but Beauden Barrett just turns on the jet shoes and races 50 metres to score under the posts. His third of the night which he converts. All Blacks 35-12.

68 mins: Beauden Barrett is denied his fourth by a knock on from Ardie Savea but two minutes later he gets it anyway. A turnover from Retallick in the ABs 22, they go wide straight away and replacement Damian McKenzie sprints away. He finds Ben Smith who finds Beauden Barrett who dives in the corner. He becomes the first ever All Black to score four tries against the Wallabies. Just to show he’s human he misses the penalty. All Blacks lead 40-12.

78 mins: A late Naholo try is disallowed for a marginal forward pass.

80 mins: The Wallabies attack but Jack Maddocks is bundled into touch. Full time. All Blacks win 40-12 and retain the Bledisloe Cup.

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Waisake Naholo and David Pocock headline our Rugby Championship Team of the Round

Alex Broun 19/08/2018
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David Pocock attends to the stricken Ryan Crotty

After a fairly predictable opening round of the Rugby Championship, with the All Blacks blowing away the Wallabies in the second half in Sydney and the Springboks proving too good for the Pumas in Durban, we name our team of the round with a few old favourites and some new stars.

  1. Ben Smith (New Zealand)

A classy performance from the custodian, brilliant break beating Lukhan Tui to create the first try late in first half, and enormous attacking presence when shifted to right wing.

  1. Waisake Naholo (New Zealand)

Maybe not at his best in Super Rugby but repaid the faith of Steve Hansen with a superb performance. One on one strip on Marika Koroibete set up one try and he scored two of his own late on. Game high 175 metres from 14 runs.

  1. Jack Goodhue (New Zealand)

Finally given his chance after another superb Super Rugby campaign. Led in metres carried (142) and team tackles (11 no misses). Finished beautiful long-range try and some strong defence.

  1. Anton Lienert-Brown (New Zealand)

Came off the bench for Ryan Crotty in the 12th minute but still the best No12 on show, slotted in neatly in the unfamiliar position with some excellent link play and tough defence.

  1. Aphiwe Dyantyi (South Africa)

Impeccable finishing, and showed great awareness with some important tackles. Growing in confidence every game and notched up another two tries. Just edges wing partner Makazole Mapimpi.

  1. Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)

Write him off at your peril. Slow start but grew into the game, great individual skill to toe the ball ahead three times and shield the ball from Will Genia to score.

  1. Faf de Klerk (South Africa)

Superb performance from the livewire scrumhalf who is at the heart of most good things the Boks do. Three try assists plus scored his own five-pointer in the second half.

  1. Kieran Read (New Zealand)

First test of the year but you wouldn’t have known it. Carried well with seven runs for 21 metres, defended well, three lineout wins and a good offload for team’s all-important first try.

  1. David Pocock (Australia)

Wallabies best. Twenty-one tackles and pounced on a ball at the back of the ruck, leading to a break. Made two breakdown steals and even earned plaudits for checking in injured Ryan Crotty.

  1. Pablo Matera (Argentina)

Impressive in a beaten side. Following on his strong Super Rugby form, made 36 metres from five runs with one tackle bust and also crossed for a first half try.

  1. Eben Etzebeth (South Africa)

Returning from nine months out of Test rugby but you would never have known it with a match high 13 runs for 72 metres and six tackle busts. Strong at the lineout, immediately made presence felt.

  1. Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

Breathtaking. One month longer out of Test rugby than Etzebeth but man of the match in Sydney. Won opening penalty, plenty of lineout steals and even a try, after selling Bernard Foley a dummy.

  1. Owen Franks (New Zealand)

Won an early penalty against Tom Robertson that set the tone for a dismantling of the Wallabies scrum, solid in defence making seven tackles without a miss.

  1. Malcolm Marx (South Africa)

Some wayward lineout throws but a powerful performance from the Bok No2 as usual, seven runs for 34 metres, three tackle busts, one off-load and one line break assist.

  1. Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa)

Solid at the set piece and worked hard in the loose with 10 runs for 30 metres, two offloads and a tackle bust. Strong presence at the breakdown with some powerful cleanouts.

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