All Blacks crush Wallabies in Rugby Championship opener

It was looking like another horror show for the Wallabies with the All Blacks chalking up another try as the missed tackle stats started to rack up for the home side.

Ioane had his second nearly immediately following a Wallabies mistake with a pass going astray in midfield that was swopped on by Ryan Crotty who found Ioane and he ran 40 metres to score the All Blacks third try after just a tick over 20 minutes on the clock.

The Wallabies' hopes of regaining the Bledisloe Cup were all but dashed after a shocking first half against the All Blacks before they managed to salvage some pride in a freakish 54-34 defeat in Sydney.

If history is any guide, the Bledisloe Cup will remain in New Zealand hands for a 15th straight year with the Wallabies having never won a series after losing the first match at home.

New Zealand's flanker Liam Squire (centre) celebrates his try with teammates during their Rugby Championship test match against Australia in Sydney on August 19, 2017.

By halftime they led 40-6, then 54-6 into the new half.

However, things were very different in the final half-hour, Australia restoring a measure of pride with four tries of their own as New Zealand's level dipped.

While it was a dominant Test for the All Blacks it plunged Australia rugby further in the gloom after a woeful Super Rugby season where Australian teams lost all their 26 games to New Zealand opposition.

After a tumultuous week - capped by veteran loose forward Jerome Kaino flying home just hours before kick-off to deal with a "personal matter" - Kieran Read's men unleashed a destructive opening 48-minute blitz on the Wallabies to set up a 54-34 win. Instead, they compounded the impression that the sport in Australia is in disarray. Squire try, Ioane 2 tries, Crotty 2 tries, Bill-Williams try, McKenzie try, Smith try, Barrett (cons x4).

Playing with a devastating mix of pace and precision, the All Blacks crossed six times before the interval to end the game as a contest, Rieko Ioane and Ryan Crotty each claiming braces as Damian McKenzie justified his selection at full-back with a series of dazzling breaks.

McKenzie was again instrumental in Ioane's first try, leaving the winger in an easy one-on-one with Folau. Beauden Barrett's conversion made it 7-3.

After Bernard Foley opened the scoring for the hosts from a penalty, their joy was short lived with a run of four tries in the opening 25 minutes.

A crowd of just 54,846 fans - the lowest-ever for a Bledisloe battle at ANZ Stadium - were witnessing one of the Wallabies' lowest-ever performances.

With the All Blacks foot firmly off the gas, Israel Folau then added a fourth unanswered try, adjudged to not have knocked on after the ball flicked the thigh of Kuridrani.

  • Rosalie Stanley