Published: Sat, August 19, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Rugby Championship: New Zealand thrash Australia in Sydney

Rugby Championship: New Zealand thrash Australia in Sydney

Crotty then took a delightful short pass from Barrett to register his first try and surged through a huge hole in the Wallabies defence to go over again after Sonny Bill Williams had also scored.

However, despite witnessing his side score the most points they've ever achieved against their Antipodean rivals - and banish memories of the disappointing draw against the Lions with an emphatic response - Kieran Read admitted that the 28-14 second-half scoreline was not a pleasing one for the All Blacks.

But the All Blacks roared back to outclass the Australians eight tries to four in a dynamic performance.

"That first part of the game is not the level that you can be at, not in any game, let alone a game against them [New Zealand]. It was bloody fantastic".

Kaino - a key member of New Zealand's Rugby World Cup triumphs in 2011 and 2015 - is not in the matchday squad to face the Wallabies.

Australia's defensive line looked scrambled and they were unable to adapt on the run to countless questions asked by New Zealand's backs. "It's not attitude, it's maybe just that little bit of doubt creeps in".

New Zealand Rugby had already reopened its investigation into halfback Aaron Smith's sexual encounter in an airport toilet cubicle, his latest scandal leaving the All Blacks' previously invincible reputation in tatters.

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.

New Zealand seemed headed for an historic winning margin but the tide turned. Beauden Barrett's conversion made it 7-3.

"We just took our foot off the throat a bit", Read said.

In his post-match media conference, he added: "We've got to stick by the things that we've been doing, the things that we've been preparing for the last however long".

"With the team we've got, the points should be coming, we've got an attacking type of team so we should be scoring points, but you've got to have both sides of the game".

Cheika still had faith his side could do it.

The second half didn't start any better for the Wallabies with a turnover on halfway by Michael Hooper as he was stripped in the tackle was punished by the All Blacks as Rieko Ioane found room down the left wing and he found McKenzie to chalk up another try.

"They'll do it. This group have a very strong connection, this is a road block in front of course, it's going to knock us down but it's not going to stop us".

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