An irresistible New Zealand yesterday clean swept the Bledisloe Cup with a commanding 38-21 victory over Australia in a fiery contest in Perth.
Despite missing a slew of stars and having their preparations interrupted, the all-conquering All Blacks held the Wallabies scoreless in a lively first half and kept their foot on the gas throughout.
At a sun-drenched Optus Stadium, in the first daytime Bledisloe Cup match in Australia since 1996, the All Blacks ran in six-to-three tries in front of a near capacity crowd of 52,724.
They ran out comfortable victors even though full-back Jordie Barrett was red-carded in a physical first half.
Having already clinched the three-test series against the Wallabies after victories in Auckland last month, the All Blacks exacted revenge, having been stunned 47-26 at Optus Stadium two years ago.
The match counts toward the concurrent Rugby Championship, which also features South Africa and Argentina.
The All Blacks showed no ill-effects after being in a “soft” quarantine in Perth, where they had only been allowed to venture out of their hotel for training sessions due to a COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand.
The match had been twice rescheduled leading to bickering between Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby.
“We trained well and just had to nail our job. I’m proud of the boys,” All Blacks skipper Ardie Savea said.
The teams are to travel to Australia’s Queensland state for round three of the Rugby Championship next week.
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