Beauden Barrett became the first New Zealand player to score four tries against Australia as the world champions retained the Bledisloe Cup in style with a 40-12 drubbing at fortress Eden Park.
Barrett was instrumental when the All Blacks ran riot in the second half to beat the Wallabies in Sydney last weekend and the two-time World Rugby Player of the Year made history with another masterclass in Auckland on Saturday.
The outstanding fly-half claimed a first-half double and another two tries after the break, also scoring 10 points from the tee to finish with a tally of 30 as Australia were blown away.
Joe Moody and Liam Squire also went over for Steve Hansen’s domineering side, who are unbeaten at Eden Park in 42 Tests and have now won 14 consecutive Rugby Championship matches.
FULLTIME: 2018 TRC Round 2
The All Blacks out class a disappointing Wallabies outfit at Eden Park with Beauden Barrett making history by being the first All Black to scoring 4 tries against Australia. #NZvAUS https://t.co/DD1THd4kQv pic.twitter.com/IviT9VVRi9
— TheRugbyChampionship (@SanzarTRC) August 25, 2018
Will Genia and Reece Hodge crossed for an Australia side that trailed 14-7 at half-time before New Zealand ran away with it, Barrett taking centre stage in Owen Franks’ 100th Test as he became the fourth All Black to score 500 points for his country.
New Zealand’s Bledisloe Cup triumph is their 16th in a row and they were in a class of their own to put more pressure on Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika.
Barrett was in the thick of the action from the start, darting through a gap to go under the posts 13 minutes in after taking an inviting pass from Aaron Smith.
Both sides showed their intent to play expansive rugby in a typically frantic encounter and the Wallabies were level after Dane Haylett-Petty’s clever kick opened up the world champions.
Desperate defending prevented Kurtley Beale from going over, but Australia were rewarded for their patience when they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and Genia nipped in to touch down from the back of a scrum that finally stayed up following another two penalties.
New Zealand took that setback on the chin and gave yet another demonstration of why they are the best team in the world with a devastating break to regain the lead before the interval.
Ben Smith burst away and exchanged passes with prop Codie Taylor, who found himself out on the wing, and although Jack Goodhue was taken down just short of the line, Barrett was on hand to cross again after the All Blacks got quick ball at the breakdown two minutes before the break.
STATCHAT | With 14 points in the first half, @beaudenbarrett has brought up 500 Test points – the fourth player to break the magic mark for the All Blacks .#NZLvAUS #BledisloeCup pic.twitter.com/u5ufw1vBZb
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 25, 2018
Just as they did in the first Test, Hansen’s men carried their momentum into the second half, prop Moody powering his way through Genia to finish following a series of pick and drives.
The rampant All Blacks were hungry to inflict more damage on their trans-Tasman rivals and Squire took a pass from Brodie Retallick to go under the posts five minutes later.
A brilliant last-ditch tackle from Bernard Foley denied Jordie Barrett from finishing another slick move before Sam Cane went off for a head injury assessment.
Australia came up with a well-worked second try to give themselves hope, Hodge finishing after an incisive break from Foley, whose conversion attempt struck the post.
However, normal service was resumed when Barrett produced a moment of magic to raise the roof, surging away from 50 metres out with blistering pace to complete his treble with a sublime solo try.
Barrett had a fourth try ruled out due to a knock-on, but the incredible number 10 broke the record soon after, stepping inside Marika Koroibete and touching down in the corner to round off another rapid counter-attack.
Waisake Naholo also had a try chalked off late on in another emphatic victory for the All Blacks, with Australia left to reflect on a fourth loss on the spin.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 25, 2018
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