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.
England international Danny Cipriani has been charged with assaulting police during an incident at a Jersey nightclub.
The 30-year-old Gloucester fly-half is also charged with resisting arrest, common assault, larceny, and being disorderly on licensed premises, police said.
He has been remanded in custody and will appear at Jersey Magistrates’ Court on Thursday morning.
His club said in a statement: “Gloucester Rugby are aware of an incident involving Danny Cipriani in the early hours of Wednesday morning following an incident at a St Helier nightclub.”
The club confirmed he had been arrested and charged, and that he will be appearing in court.
England international Danny Cipriani charged with nightclub assault https://t.co/Fuw9MSkSis— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) August 15, 2018
“The club will be issuing no further comment at this time but will make a further announcement in due course,” the statement added.
A States of Jersey Police spokesman said: “This afternoon 30-year-old Daniel Cipriani was charged with common assault, larceny, assault on police, resisting arrest and disorderly on licensed premises.
“He’s been remanded in custody until his court appearance at the magistrates’ court at 10am tomorrow.
“He was arrested at the early hours of this morning following an incident in Mulcaster Street in St Helier.”
Harlequins have installed a 6ft 3in model bear in their headquarters in a bid to create a new era of aggressive defence, Demetri Catrakilis has revealed.
Fly-half Catrakilis has lifted the lid on new head of rugby Paul Gustard’s latest maverick coaching method.
Gustard’s first big left-field coaching brainchild was Saracens’ ‘Wolfpack’ defensive system, which at one point saw him take a real wolf to training.
The 42-year-old has been coy about some of his more obscure plans, but South African playmaker Catrakilis has shone some light on another of Gustard’s novel techniques.
Gallagher Premiership new boys Bristol have added the Bears moniker to their official club name – and now Harlequins have installed the species as their very own spirit animal.
Asked if Gustard had employed any weird and wonderful methods yet, Catrakilis replied: “There is a bear. There is a massive bear in our team room.
“It looks real – but it hasn’t moved yet. That is going be the basis of how we defend – to be like bears.
“It is nice to use as an analogy, to think of yourself as a superior animal, so that is what he has chosen. Bears are so dominant – we want to be dominant ourselves, we want to make sure we are going forwards and they are going backwards.”
Asked how Gustard unveiled Quins’ newest recruit, Catrakilis said: “There was a curtain over something in the corner.
“I was wondering, ‘what the hell is this?’ I was waiting for someone to come out of the back. I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if it is real, it might be. How big is it?’
“It is massive – about 6ft 3in. I haven’t gone too close to it. It looks like a real bear. It’s a brown bear.”
Harlequins leaked an average 22 points per game en route to a 10th-placed finish in last term’s Premiership, leading to John Kingston leaving the club.
“He has brought a lot of good defensive systems to our game, which is what we needed; so the holes we did have in our game, he is filling,” said Catrakilis, of Gustard.
“I don’t think our culture was bad at all (last year). He might add a little to it, but what he does bring is his knowledge of the game.”
Forward-thinking Gustard has wasted no time in stamping his approach all over the Twickenham outfit.
The former Newcastle, London Irish and Saracens flanker has rebranded Quins’ replacements as “game changers”, and has defended that switch following a quizzical social media response.
Gustard explained he wanted to redefine the role of players who take a seat on the bench, insisting the role is every bit as important as those in the starting XV.
“Why do they have to be called substitutes, why do they have to be called reserves, or replacements?” said Gustard.
“Why can’t we call them something different? We want them to come on and impact the game.
“Somebody somewhere called them substitutes, someone came up with that definition.
“But we’ve given our players the definition of what we want from them, and that’s it.
“For me it’s quite simple, we want them to do something. They are not a substitute, they are coming on to change the game, finish the game, close the game – have an impact.
“And I want these guys to believe in themselves and what they can do.
“I don’t see a big drama about it. Someone wanted to call them reserves, so be it. I might find that funny.”