All Blacks beat Wallabies 40-14 and win Rugby Championship
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand won the Rugby Championship on Saturday when its big win over Australia wasn’t matched by South Africa eight hours later.
The All Blacks thumped Australia 40-14 at Eden Park, extending their winning streak at the Auckland stadium into a 29th year and putting a hand on the Rugby Championship trophy.
To prevent the All Blacks from retaining the crown, world champion South Africa needed to beat Argentina in Durban with a bonus point and by more than 39 points.
The Springboks could win a scrappy match only 38-21 and without a bonus point.
The All Blacks edged the Springboks by a point in the standings. Australia was third and Argentina fourth.
New Zealand allowed no room for controversy on Saturday. The first match with the Wallabies in Melbourne 10 days ago was made contentious by a late time-wasting penalty against Australia that gave New Zealand a scrum from which it scored the winning try.
This time, there was no such talking point. The All Blacks scored two tries, including a penalty try, to lead 17-0 by halftime and added three more tries in the second half as Australia paid a heavy price for a lack of discipline.
“We put ourselves under pressure to play well here,” All Blacks coach Ian Foster said. “We felt we did a lot of that last week but let it slip in that last quarter.
“There were a lot of good signs and we showed a lot of attitude in the last game of the Championship.”
The Wallabies lost two players to the sin-bin in the first half and conceded the penalty try at a collapsed maul. They have been the most penalized team in the Rugby Championship and continued in that vein, allowing passion to rule at times when cool heads were needed.
“Playing with two yellow cards in the first half put us on the back foot,” captain James Slipper said. “That’s a very disappointing outcome for us tonight.
“We wanted to come here and perform. We were really gutted with the result last week. We had confidence coming here but the All Blacks were too good for us.”
Australia was first reduced to 14 men after two minutes when lock Jed Holloway was yellow-card ed for a lifting cleanout on All Blacks flanker Dalton Papali’i. He may have been lucky to receive a red card for an ugly incident.
The Wallabies were able to keep the All Blacks scoreless in Holloway’s absence, though New Zealand had a series of scrums and a lineout within five meters of their line.
The All Blacks took 21 minutes to put their first points on the board, a penalty to Richie Mo’unga. They followed quickly with the first try through Will Jordan, the winger’s 21st in 21 tests.
After strong runs by center Rieko Ioane and prop Tyrel Lomax, the ball was moved wide to Jordan who had too much pace for the stretched Australian defense.
The penalty try came in the 27th when Wallabies hooker David Porecki took down an advancing All Blacks maul after a penalty and lineout, and was shown a yellow card.
Again, the Wallabies fared well while a player short. Winger Marika Koroibete was close to scoring but stepped into touch before grounding the ball in the left corner.
The Wallabies staged a major comeback from 31-13 down to grab the lead in the Melbourne test. New Zealand made a rally less likely on Saturday by scoring within three minutes of the restart.
After a scrum, Jordan featured in an attack and the ball was carried to the Wallabies’ posts, where captain Sam Whitelock crashed over for his seventh try in his 140th test.
New Zealand held a major advantage at set-pieces, and tighthead prop Lomax was a powerhouse. From a lineout following a penalty in the 53rd, Lomax helped drive hooker Codie Taylor over for New Zealand’s fourth try and a 32-0 lead.
Australia finally got on the board in the 59th with a try to replacement hooker Folau Fainga’a. Mo’unga’s clearing kick was partially charged down and Pete Samu made a strong run down the touchline before his infield pass was deflected into the arms of Fainga’a.
Samisoni Taukei’aho took over from Taylor at hooker and immediately scored from another lineout drive, his speciality, to give the All Blacks a 30-point margin.
Mo’unga added a late penalty and the Wallabies scored a consolation try through center Jordan Petaia after the fulltime siren.
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