Dominant Wallabies crush All Blacks and other key talking points from Perth

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Australia crushed world champions New Zealand 47-26 in the Rugby Championship in Perth.

The All Blacks had lock Scott Barrett sent off just before half-time for a shoulder charge on Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper.

Nic White, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale all crossed the line, with fly-half Christian Lealiifano kicking 13 points and Matt Toomua adding two conversions.

Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown and Ngani Laumape claimed New Zealand’s tries, while Richie Mo’unga kicked three conversions.

Here’s our talking points from the match.

ALL BLACKS STRUGGLE

New Zealand produced one of their worst performances in recent years, albeit they played the full second half with 14 men, but the timing won’t help Steve Hansen and his coaching staff either with their World Cup opener against South Africa just six weeks away.

They were unable to hold on to the ball, struggled with ill-discipline and were unable to match a dominant Australia scrum and lineout that purred all evening in Perth.

The All Blacks couldn’t hold on to possession (24 per cent), gave away easy turnovers (12) and missed too many tackles (37), 19 of which came in first half alone.

The missed tackles stat is frightening – at 79 per cent – considering they enjoyed a 93 per cent success rate in their previous two Rugby Championship games against Argentina and South Africa.

Territory, in which they held a meager 13 per cent in the first half, isn’t relevant sometimes in the modern game, but it’s the position that will frustrate Hansen.

Despite the defeat, they scored four tries with little ball in hand, and special mention must go to Ardie Savea, Lienert-Brown and Kieran Read, who against the circumstances, got through a mountain of work.

Overall, New Zealand did improve towards the end of the match, but the world champions need to be more positive with possession and discipline against the same opposition at Eden Park next week.

WALLABIES SHINE

Wrap it up and stick a green and yellow bow on it because the Wallabies were absolutely superb.

After losing to South Africa and narrowly beating Argentina, much pressure fell on Michael Cheika and his coaching team heading into their first Bledisloe Cup fixture against the All Blacks.

But they were superb, dominating possession, territory and the scoreline, and wounding an All Blacks side that now look low on confidence.

Samu Kerevi trucked his way through the All Blacks backline at every opportunity and was a model of consistency.

On the wing, Hodge was a menace and capped off a fine evening with two tries.

At 15, Beale produced some of that old magic that we are normally used to seeing, bursting through for a late try to put some more gloss on the scoreboard.

The red card to Barrett may have changed the game, but Australia played with a ruthless efficiency, enjoying 87 per cent territory and 81 per cent possession in the first half, and holding firm to secure a remarkable second win in 11 attempts against the All Blacks.

Can Cheika’s warriors back it up next week?

BARRETT DISMISSAL

Barrett was the fourth All Black ever to be sent-off in Test rugby after receiving his marching orders for a shoulder tackle on Hooper just before half-time.

It seemed a harsh decision, with referee Jerome Garces known to make conversational calls, but perhaps fair under the new laws and regulations.

It proved costly with the All Blacks going in at the break under pressure – at 16-12 down – and devoid of confidence.

Because of his positive disciplinary record, Barrett may only miss four matches, including the first two games at the Rugby World Cup. But with talisman Brodie Retallick sidelined due to a shoulder injury, it puts Hansen under pressure to find a partner for Sam Whitelock or force rushing the 2014 World Player of the Year back to action.

The sending off ruined the game, but Barrett needs to learn in the future, and try to be more disciplined in those crucial positions. If it happened in a World Cup semi-final, for example, he would destroy the team’s organisation and belief.

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