International Rugby

Ruthless All Blacks complete Bledisloe Cup whitewash

Beauden Barrett tormented wounded Australia yet again as ruthless New Zealand completed a Bledisloe Cup whitewash with a 37-20 victory in Yokohama on Saturday.

Barrett scored four tries in the second Test at Eden Park, a week after crossing in the first back in August, and the reigning World Player of the Year added one of five tries for the clinical All Blacks at Nissan Stadium.

The world champions ran away with it after going in at the break with a 17-10 lead following tries from Liam Squire and Kieran Read, Sefa Naivalu scoring Australia’s opening try in his first Test since last June just before the interval.

New Zealand overpowered their trans-Tasman rivals in the second half, Barrett scoring an excellent try before Ben Smith and the prolific Rieko Ioane rubbed salt into the wounds by going over either side of an Israel Folau score.

Barrett also showed his class with the boot, finishing with a tally of 17 points as the Rugby Championship winners started their tour with an emphatic win to heap more misery on under-pressure Australia head coach Michael Cheika.

New Zealand finished strongly yet again after a dramatic late win over South Africa last time out, Smith and Ioane scoring with Tolu Latu in the sin bin for lashing out at Codie Taylor 13 minutes from time. 

The Wallabies came out firing on all cylinders and almost had a try inside two minutes when Dane Haylett-Petty stretched out but was unable to touch down in the corner.

New Zealand got a grip on the contest and hit the front in clinical fashion, Squire taking an inviting pass from Sonny Bill Williams – playing his 50th Test – to burst through and dot down, with Barrett adding the extras.

Kurtley Beale and Barrett traded penalties, then skipper Read threw a dummy and crashed over as New Zealand caught Australia out by going on the short side from a scrum.

Barrett converted expertly from wide on the left three minutes before the break, but he was unable to stop Cheika’s men from hitting back with their first try prior to the interval.

The powerful Naivalu ploughed through the All Blacks fly-half in the left corner to mark his recall with a score and Bernard Foley reduced the deficit to 17-10 with an excellent conversion.

Foley was on target again with a more straightforward kick from the tee early in the second half after Rob Simmons proved unable to ground the ball over the line, but Barrett added another three points and opened up more breathing space with an outstanding try.

The alert number 10 fed the onrushing Ioane and showed a sharp turn of foot to race 50 metres for a superb score after taking a return pass from the flyer on the outside.

Barrett converted his own try and Smith was gifted a five-pointer when he caught a loose pass from Folau and raced away to apply the finish after replacement Latu was yellow-carded for retaliating.

Folau made amends to an extent with a classy finish, but Ioane had the final say, the lethal wing scoring his 11th try of the year after being set up by an audacious through-the-legs pass from Barrett. News wire is powered by opta

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