Richie’s men rule again

The All Blacks beat Australia comfortably in Wellington to retain the Bledisloe Cup and get four more Rugby Championship points.

The All Blacks won 27-16 after leading 15-6 at halftime.

The All Blacks scored two tries to one intercept try from the Wallabies, who showed greater commitment and played more direct in the first 30 minutes.

The win was New Zealand’s second successive Rugby Championship victory of the season against Australia.

Rugby Championship log.

But the visitors offered nothing in attack and this looked like an exercise in damage control.

The All Blacks withstood the initial Australian effort in the opening half hour with two wonderful tries and then applied the slow poison in the second half.

The New Zealand lineout remains vulnerable but the All Blacks dominated the scrum.

All Blacks flanker Steven Luatua enjoyed a strong evening and scrumhalf Aaron Smith was also busy.

Michael Hooper started well for the Australians but he was a one man show against the All Blacks loose-trio of Richie McCaw, Luatua and Kieran Read.

Tom Taylor, thanks to the All Blacks forward unit, also enjoyed a successful debut and All Blacks centurion Tony Woodcock excelled.

How Rugbyheaven’s Marc Hinton viewed the game from Westpac Stadium

How Sydney Morning Herald rugby correspondent Georgina Robinson viewed the game

All Blacks – Tries: Ben Smith (2). Conversion: Tom Taylor. Penalties: Taylor (5).
Wallabies – Try: Israel Folau. Conversion: Christian Leali’fano. Penalties: Leali’fano (3).

All Blacks – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Tom Taylor, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Subs: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Jeremy Thrush, 20 Sam Cane, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Charles Piutau.

Wallabies – 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali’ifano, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (c), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper
Subs: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nic White, 22 Quade Cooper, 23 Tevita Kuridrani.

Live match commentary as it happened

79 Australia have possibly their last attack of the night. Mogg, who has has another terrible game passes straight into touch to end the movement.
77 Both teams have now emptied their benches, allowing everyone to get a taste of the Test and add another cap to their records.
76 PENALTY, DAGG, 27-16: New Zealand attack and earn a penalty right under the cross bar. Dagg kicks his first penalty in test rugby as Taylor goes off after a very good debut.
73 CONVERSION, LEALIIFANO, 24-16: There is no mistake made with the easy conversion. There is just eight points in it now.
72 TRY, FOLAU, 24-14: Australia lose another line-out and New Zealand spread it wide. They have an overlap so Folau gambles and goes for the intercept. He claims it, runs 70 metres, steps Dagg in cover defense and scores next to the poles.
69 PENALTY, TAYLOR, 24-9: The All Blacks are given a penalty because the Wallaby defender did not make an attempt to roll away. Taylor lines up another kick and with the nerves a thing of the past, nails it. The score is now 24-9 and this Test is all but sealed.
68 The Australian game is starting to fall apart. The scrums have been an issue all match, they have just lost two of their own line-outs in a row and the back three refuse to counter attack.
66 Cooper adds some speed to the Wallaby attack, but an unforced error turns the ball over and New Zealand find the safety of touch.
63 Aaron Smith is upset about a little knock-on, but the All Blacks are starting to run riot. A bonus point might be on if this intensity continues.
61 PENALTY, TAYLOR, 21-9: Another scrum penalty in favour of the hosts presents the new fly-half with an easy opportunity. He strokes the ball between the sticks and the lead stretches to 21-9.
59 The Wallaby scrum is not coping with new laws and the power of the All Black pack. New Zealand win the ball and now have a five metre attacking platform.
58 The crowd erupts with negativity as Quade Cooper replaces Toomua at fly-half for Australia.
57 PENALTY, LEALIIFANO, 18-9: Attacking play is rewarded as the hosts are caught off-side. Australia take the gift three points, closing the gap to 18-9.
55 A kicking contest is won by Australia, who now have some territory. At 18-6 down, it may be time for Mogg and the rest of the Australian back-three to attempt a counter-attack.
53 PENALTY, TAYLOR, 18-6: Woodcock, in his 100th Test, smashes into his opposite number which earns his side the scrum penalty. Taylor make no mistake off the tee and New Zealand now lead 18-6.
51 Whitelock runs around the ruck and snaps up the ball which is out according to the referee. The All Blacks have numbers wide, but a handling error kills the promising opportunity.
49 New Zealand make substantial ground with a rolling maul but they can’t recycle the ball and lose the put in to the scrum.
47 Wonderful defense on their try line ends with Read winning the penalty at the breakdown. Taylor kicks a massive touch finder and Coles comes on to replace Hore.
45 O’Connor is put into some space and goes on a 60 metre burst down the touch-line. Dagg completes the cover defense but Australia are still on attack.
44 The Australian scrum is shoved off the ball, allowing Aaron Smith to snipe down the short side. He holds on though and is penalized.
43 New Zealand’s backs slice straight through Australia and a certain try is prevented by a forward pass.
42 constant pick-’n-drive play comes to and end with a knock-on. New Zealand pounce and gets a good clearance kick away.
41 Toomua gets the second half under way. Aaron Smith kicks it straight out and Australia start the half with a line-out on the All Blacks 22.
40 The All Blacks scored on the stroke of half time to take a handy lead into the break, after what was a very tight 40 minutes of rugby.
40 TRY, BEN SMITH, 15-6: Luayua makes a clean break as the All Blacks have one last attack before half time. He is pulled down just a couple metres out. The ball comes quickly and is spread wide where Smith is the extra man and is over in the corner for his second try today and fifth in one and a half games in the Rugby Championship. Taylor hits the post with the conversion attempt and the teams run off for the break.
38 All Blacks are given another penalty after a free-for-all under an up-’n-under. Taylor lines it up from well over 50 metres and gives it a mighty crack. It’s just away to the left but the distance was good.
37 PENALTY, TAYLOR, 10-6: Taylor nails the penalty from out wide, stretching the lead to 10-6.
36 Slipper gets a Nonu knee in the face. He does not look well and is being helped from the field, possibly to have a ding-dong test. Scott Sio replaces him.
35 Read claims a messy ball at the back of the line-out. So incredible hands by the All Blacks put real pressure on the Wallaby defensive system. The visitors are eventually stretched too far and they give away the penalty.
32 The New Zealand forwards attack the fringes, sucking in defenders before going wide. The backs decide to kick for territory and a kicking duel ensues.
31 Australia, hot on attack, are penalized for holding back a defended. Mowen is the guilty party.
30 Good contesting at the line-out disrupts the All Blacks ball, but the hosts get the scrum and the solid base allows them to clear their lines.
28 CONVERSION, TAYLOR, 7-6: Taylor nails the conversion and registers his first Test points.
27 TRY, BEN SMITH, 5-6: Lovely hands by the All Blacks puts their wing into some space. Smith runs it in from 40 metres out and it on the scorers list once again.
25 PENALTY, LEALIIFANO, 0-6: Lealiifano makes clean break and is dragged down by Aaron Smith just a couple metres short. Smith doesn’t release and the Wallabies will kick at goal. The sharp-shooter makes no mistake and the score is now 0-6.
22 The Wallaby centre misses his first kick in international rugby. The score remains 0-3.
21 Folau gets involved and his pass is slapped down, earning Australia a chance to increase the lead. Nonu is lucky that the referee missed his shoulder charge on James Slipper, but a citing may still happen.
19 Australia win their own scrum feed and now launch an attack. The retention of ball has been impressive from the Wallabies thus far.
17 Yet another breakdown penalty results in a Kiwi line-out on half-way.
16 Immediately the hosts win a penalty from the scrum which allows Taylor to clear their lines.
14 Hore makes a crucial turn over. The ball is not coming out of the ruck and New Zealand will feed the first scrum of the match.
13 A wonderful kick from Genia pins New Zealand in their 22 and then the visitors win a free kick from the line-out. Australia on attack.
12 The Garry Owen is a good tactic because of the swirling wind. Neither side manages to hold onto the ball as territory seems to be the main concern.
10 New Zealand increase the speed of the match and are already stretching the Australian defense. Taylor will have his first Kick of the match after another breakdown penalty. He misses and the score remains 0-3.
8 The All Blacks get a breakdown penalty straight off the kickoff and Taylor sets up an attacking line-out. Ben Smith makes the break and Savea is put into touch just metres from the try-line.
6 PENALTY, LEALIIFANO, 0-3: An extended period of attack finally forces the mistake and Australia earn a penalty. The kick is good and the Wallabies lead 0-3 as the rain starts to fall.
4 The wind is causing some serious problems for both sides at line-out time. Australia secure some scrappy ball and their first multiple phase movement of the match.
2 A couple mistakes from the hosts. The line-out is over-thrown and then Dagg kicks it directly into touch.
1 Taylor gets the match underway. Immediately New Zealand put the pressure on and have an early attacking line-out on the Wallablies 22.
0 The gauntlet is thrown down by New Zealand with an emotional rendition of the Haka.
0 The field appears to be dry and conducive to running rugby. The stands are packed and almost entirely black.
0 If the hosts win today they will not only take the lead in the Rugby Championship, but also retain the Bledisloe Cup, which has resided in New Zealand for the last decade.
0 New Zealand have dominated in the recent past against their neighbours from across the Tasman. In the last 12 encounters, Australia has won just twice, New Zealand nine times and there has been one draw.
0 Both coaches have opted for continuity, only making injury enforced changes to their starting teams. The big news is that Tom Taylor will make his debut at Fly-half for the All Blacks. He will understandably be a little nervous, which will give Matt Toomua a chance to gain some ascendency for the first time in his young international career.
0 Greetings and welcome to our live commentary of the third game of the Rugby Championship taking place in Wellington. The hosts start as overwhelming favourtives, but the Wallabies are known for never-say-die attitude will ensure that they make the All Blacks earn a possible victory.