Sport

All Blacks crush Wallabies in Bledisloe

All Blacks crush Wallabies in Bledisloe

Tom Robertson will start at loosehead prop for the Wallabies in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Sydney on Saturday night. Kurtley Beale 11. Marika Koroibete 10.

Compounding Australia's pain was an ankle injury to superstar fullback Israel Folau, who cut a dejected figure as he hobbled off after 65 minutes after landing awkwardly from an aerial challenge.

When the All Blacks eventually got themselves into a good attacking position they lost a 5m lineout, and their frustration continued as Waisake Naholo was bundled into touch in the right-hand corner, a Tatafu Polota-Nau breakdown steal ended a 17-phase attack, and Beauden Barrett was off target with a 40m penalty-goal attempt.

The All Blacks did not seriously threaten until the half hour mark, when winger Dane Haylett-Petty denied Naholo with a try-saving tackle on the line.

The Wallabies had been relying on the young tighthead to make an impact off the bench as they seek a win to kick-start their quest to end New Zealand's 15 years of Bledisloe domination.




Hooper had been battling a hamstring injury he sustained in the 2-1 series loss to Ireland in June and will link up again with David Pocock in the loose forwards trio.

They held on to prevent the Wallabies crossing the line in the first half, restricting them to penalties for Reece Hodge and Bernard Foley. Tatafu Polota-Nau 1. Tom Robertson. Nick Phipps 22. Matt Toomua 23. Ryan Crotty 11. Rieko Ioane 10.

But two minutes before half-time, returning All Blacks captain Kieran Read found scrum-half Smith to reduce the deficit to just one point and an onslaught of five second-half tries ensued. Sam Cane 6. Liam Squire 5.

Reserves: 16. Nathan Harris 17. Scott Barrett 20. Ardie Savea 21.


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