Daniel Carter ensured New Zealand converted their territorial domination into points as the All Blacks beat Australia 22-0 in their Rugby Championship clash at Eden Park yesterday.
Flyhalf Carter kicked five penalties and converted Israel Dagg’s try to score 17 points for the All Blacks, whose victory ensured they retained the Bledisloe Cup for the 10th successive season and piled the pressure on Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
New Zealand, who have now held the Bledisloe Cup since 2003, have not lost to Australia at Eden Park since 1986. They have also won 14 of their 17 tests against their closest neighbors since Deans took over as coach in 2008.
The All Blacks face Australia in the third match of the series, which is not part of the Rugby Championship, in Brisbane on Oct. 20.
“To lock the Bledisloe up for another year, I’m very proud of the way the guys took to their work,” All Blacks captain Richie McCaw said in a pitchside interview.
The All Blacks dominated territory for much of the game and forced the Wallabies to play much of their rugby inside their own half.
The world champions did not concede a kickable penalty until the 51st minute, although the Wallabies chose to kick for an attacking lineout in the corner and then lost the ball.
“We realized the Wallabies would come back more intensely. They certainly did that, but we showed what we were made of when we didn’t have the ball,” McCaw said. “It was about getting the line speed up and knocking them over. There was a period there where we had to defend on our line and got a turnover so I’m very happy there.”
The Wallabies, who had captain Will Genia sinbinned in the first half for a professional foul, were more combative in contact than they were in last week’s 27-19 loss in Sydney, but the backline still lacked punch despite the presence of mercurial playmaker Quade Cooper.
“You have to give credit to this All Blacks side, they’re a great team and they have achieved so much,” Genia said. “They’re going to turn up every week and to be honest I think we got taught a lesson tonight.”
The All Blacks, who had a 9-0 lead at halftime courtesy of three Carter penalties, put the game beyond doubt in the first 10 minutes of the second half when Carter slotted his fourth penalty and Dagg smashed over after a superb team buildup.
Carter converted the try then added his fifth penalty to give the All Blacks a 22-0 lead.
“We ... thought we were in it [at halftime],” Genia said. “We wanted to make a good start in the second half but they got the first points and they’re a team when they smell blood, they take it.”
The All Blacks should have extended their lead throughout the second half but blew several try-scoring opportunities due to poor handling and choosing the wrong option.
“We let a few [scoring opportunities] go begging with a lack of patience,” McCaw said, adding: “I think we were creating space and were probably half a pass away from getting there but sometimes holding [on to the ball] for that one extra ruck can mean the difference between scoring and not. At the end of the day a test match win against the Wallabies you have to be happy, and to do two in a row is great.”