x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Rugby Championship: New Zealand dominant in 47-29 win over Australia

The All Blacks flattened any hopes of a winning start for the new Australia coach Ewen McKenzie with six tries in a 47-29 romp in the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup opener.

Ben Smith, left, holds off the tackle of Australia's Christian Leali'ifano to score the secondof his three tries. The winger became the first player to score a hat-trick for New Zealand in eight years. Rick Rycroft / AP Photo
Ben Smith, left, holds off the tackle of Australia's Christian Leali'ifano to score the secondof his three tries. The winger became the first player to score a hat-trick for New Zealand in eight years. Rick Rycroft / AP Photo

SYDNEY // Steve Hansen vowed there would be no easing up after his New Zealand side put one hand on the Bledisloe Cup trophy they have held for a decade.

The All Blacks flattened any hopes of a winning start for the new Australia coach Ewen McKenzie with six tries in a 47-29 romp in the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup opener yesterday.

It was business as usual as the All Blacks again mastered the Wallabies for their 100th Test win over their trans-Tasman foes and their 15th victory in the last 19 encounters between the two countries.

The All Blacks can wrap up the Bledisloe Cup for a 11th straight year with victory in Wellington next week. The third game of the series is in Dunedin on October 19. Hansen, their coach, said there would be no complacency as they seek to send home their advantage over the Wallabies.

"In the Bledisloe Cup, you have to win twice, so we haven't done anything yet, we've only done a small part of the job, but until we win two, we haven't won it," Hansen said after yesterday's big win.

"One of the strengths of the All Blacks team, in history, is they are very good at looking at the things they didn't do well.

"And when we reflect on this game, we'll look at the stuff we need to fix up and do better and there's quite a bit. Our leaders are very important in this area, they'll keep driving the team."

The winger Ben Smith became the first New Zealand player in eight years to score three tries in a Test, Aaron Cruden scored a try and kicked six from eight for a 20-point haul, while the captain Richie McCaw led by example with a dominant 72-minute performance in his first Test back from a six-month layoff.

Christian Leali'ifano kicked a perfect seven from seven and was one of the few Wallabies, alongside Michael Hooper, to impress. New Zealand scored three tries to one - from Will Genia - in the first half to lead 25-19 at the interval.

The hosts closed to within three points with another Leali'ifano penalty seven minutes into the second period but the world champions - with a try to Conrad Smith and two to Ben Smith - piled on 22 unanswered points. James O'Connor scored a consolation try in the 80th minute.

McKenzie, who spoke last week about a fresh approach after a decade of playing second-best to the All Blacks, said his team will work on their shortcomings this week ahead of the return game in Wellington.

"They are a good side, the best side in the world on capitalising on mistakes," he said. "They reaped the rewards for the pressure they put on. Next week's a different game. We're not going to sit here and get bogged down and spin our wheels. We'll concentrate on the positives and tidy up some of the things we need to."

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