Thursday 18 January 2018

All Blacks run riot

Sonny Bill Williams makes a break during New Zealand’s victory over Australia Photo: Getty
Sonny Bill Williams makes a break during New Zealand’s victory over Australia Photo: Getty

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

A late rally wasn't enough for Australia as they lost the Rugby Championship opener to New Zealand. The Wallabies were facing embarrassment in Sydney as they trailed 40-6 at half-time, and the All Blacks extended their lead to 54-6 after the break.

The visitors took their foot off the pedal and Australia cashed in, scoring 28 points, but New Zealand ran out easy 54-34 winners. Liam Squire had them in front 10 minutes in with the first of 12 tries, but two Bernard Foley penalties kept Australia in the hunt.

Rieko Ioane scored twice in three minutes and Ryan Crotty also crossed for what amounted to three tries in the space of 420 seconds. Beauden Barrett converted two and tagged the extras as Sonny Bill Williams and Crotty dotted down. The 40 points New Zealand had at the whistle were a record in a half against Australia.

A first Test try for Damian McKenzie continued the rout after the restart and Ben Smith added another, before Australia mounted a comeback. Curtis Rona, Tevita Kuridrani, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau crossed, with Foley converting but it mattered little.

Elsewhere, a resurgent South Africa saw off Argentina 37-15.

Irish Independent

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