New Zealand captain Kieran Read lamented the All Blacks’ performance in their joint-heaviest defeat as Australia inflicted a 47-26 thrashing on the reigning Rugby World Cup champions.
The Wallabies ran in six tries at Optus Stadium – against a team that played the entire second half with 14 men following Scott Barrett’s red card – to ensure Michael Cheika’s side will finish above the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship standings.
New Zealand had won the previous six Rugby Championship meetings between the two but now face a fight to keep hold of the Bledisloe Cup.
The two teams are due to meet again in Auckland next weekend, when Australia will aim to win the trophy for the first time in 17 years.
After seeing his team concede the most points they ever have in a Test, Read admitted there needs to be a marked improvement when the two meet again.
“We’ve got to be better than that,” he told Fox Sports.
“We can’t afford to give away that many missed tackles.
“You’ve got one chance – next week it’s do or die.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 10, 2019
Cheika has previously said he will walk away from the Australia job if his team do not win the World Cup in Japan later this year, and this performance was a real statement of intent.
Reece Hodge scored two of their tries while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Nic White, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale also crossed.
“They were very good,” Read added.
“We knew that this was going to be the case, I think that we just let our discipline slip early in that first half and we let them get ahead.
“It was pretty tit-for-tat in that first half but we just couldn’t get our hands on the ball and that hurt us right after half-time and really gave them confidence.”
Australia captain Michael Hooper claimed the victory can be a significant boost to morale ahead of a huge few months of international rugby.
“I’m just very proud of the build-up and very proud that the building that we have been talking about has turned into a good result,” he said.
“That’s a nice little hit of confidence and momentum for us.”
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