Rugby Union

New Zealand run riot against Australia in Auckland

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New Zealand silenced critics after their opening day draw (©GettyImages)
New Zealand silenced critics after their opening day draw (©GettyImages).

Last week Australia forced New Zealand into a 12-12 draw in Sydney, ending the All Blacks' peerless winning run, but Steve Hansen's men bounced back on Saturday to deliver a fantastic performance in Auckland, beating the Wallabies 51-20.

New Zealand needed to respond after this draw as critics were speculating that this was the start of their decline, having been tipped as hot favourites to sink Australia in their own back yard just a week previous.

But there was no better response than beating their neighbours in the home state of rugby and doing it in style, breaking a new high-scoring record with captain Richie McCaw scoring two tries.

Reputation was on the line and so was the Bledisloe Cup, as New Zealand played an inch-perfect game with Hansen's men heading into their next game with a much-needed confidence boost.

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Australia

For the visitors this is a humiliating defeat, especially for the a team ranked third in the world. Ewen McKenzie's side looked strong, compact and eager for the victory in Sydney but couldn't supply these attributes in Auckland.

They took an early lead but just couldn't deal with the force New Zealand manage to pound into every team they face.

McKenzie made a brave decision midweek that he wouldn't change the 23-man squad, issuing his trust in their abilities to deliver in Auckland, considering they haven't won in  the North of New Zealand for nearly ten years.

But this may have been the flaw, mainly because New Zealand would have studied the game videos throughout the week and understood what areas Australia were weak in and aim to target these parts of the field.

Rugby Championship still up for grabs

At the moment South Africa sits top of the pool having beaten Argentina comfortably on two occasions, as New Zealand will have to take on Argentina next in Napier.

Argentina have never won in New Zealand, as this will be the first time they play at McLean Park. The last time Los Pumas played in the All Blacks territory they lost 28-13.

Australia meanwhile have to take on confident South Africa in Perth at Pattersons Stadium, a game where they can try to regain some dignity and be hopeful their supporters help them through this difficult recovery process.

Springboks could hold the key

South Africa have only won 12 of their last 34 games in Australia, but last year the Springboks beat the Wallabies in Brisbane 38-12; remaining unbeaten in their last three meetings.

But the last time these two sides met in Perth, Australia sunk Heyneke Meyer's team 28-19. However since 2012 the Aussies haven't displayed the same dominance that helped them remain unbeaten against the Springboks for five straight games between 2009 and 2012.

The third week of the Rugby Championship will be a telling time for both games but more importantly Australia, as it is about bouncing back from what can only be described as their worst defeat since South Africa thrashed McKenzie's men 53-8 in 2008.

Topics:
Australia Rugby
New Zeland Rugby
Rugby Union
South Africa Rugby
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