New Zealand 27-7 Australia: All Blacks outclass Wallabies to maintain Eden Park fortress

By Sports Desk October 17, 2020

New Zealand preserved their Eden Park fortress after outplaying Australia 27-7 in game two of the Bledisloe Cup on Sunday.

The All Blacks and Wallabies could not be separated in last week's memorable stalemate in the Bledisloe opener in Wellington, however, there was a winner this time around in Auckland.

New Zealand ran in four tries to one as they extended their unbeaten record at Eden Park to 44 matches, while maintaining their undefeated run against the Wallabies at the stadium, which dates back to 1986.

It was a lively start by the Wallabies, who pressed New Zealand back early, but the efficient All Blacks struck first via Richie Mo'unga's penalty.

Beauden Barrett – back in the line-up after sitting out the series opener due to an Achilles tendon problem – almost found younger brother Jordie Barrett with a kick through and while it did not end in a try, the All Blacks did not have to wait long as Aaron Smith crossed over in the 22nd minute after Australia were unable to hold out from close range.

The Wallabies, though, responded as they carved open the All Blacks – a great line break and quick hands seeing Marika Koroibete cut inside two opponents to score the try before James O'Connor converted to reduce the deficit to 10-7 heading into the break.

New Zealand, who have lost just 10 of their 87 Tests at Eden Park, took control in the second half – young winger Caleb Clarke putting on a show to and taking centre stage to help the hosts make the perfect start within three minutes of the interval.

Clarke's pace and power proved too much as space opened up for Jordie Barrett to cross over for a 15-7 advantage and the All Blacks were in again three minutes later.

Another unstoppable run from Clarke, who smashed through Australia's defence, resulted in a New Zealand overload and Ardie Savea added the five-pointer, however Mo'unga missed back-to-back conversions.

The Wallabies – carrying a 16 per cent win rate at Eden Park into the contest, only Great Britain and Scotland have been worse of the teams to have played at least five games at the stadium – thought they had a try in the 50th minute but were held up by some desperate New Zealand defending, while Australia had a try ruled out for a double movement moments later.

New Zealand then went up the other end and extended their lead courtesy of captain Sam Cane, who made light work of Australia's backline following a sweeping move as Ian Foster celebrated his first victory as All Blacks head coach.

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