Scintillating All Blacks maul Australia


New Zealand humiliated Australia in the opening game of the Rugby Championship by consigning the defending champions to a record 42-8 defeat at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

The Wallabies have been licking their wounds since a Test series whitewash to England in June and the world champions showed no mercy on their fierce rivals, running in six tries to put one hand on the Bledisloe Cup.

New Zealand Rugby said that a hotel room they used for team meetings was bugged this week, but Steve Hansen's side carried out their masterplan to perfection in the first meeting between the two sides since the World Cup final last year.

Ryan Crotty, Beauden Barrett, Jerome Kaino and Waisake Naholo scored first-half tries as the All Blacks opened up a 32-3 half-time lead.

The brilliant Barrett also scored 12 points with the boot in the first half and Dane Coles went over after the break before Julian Savea became the fastest All Black to 40 tries in his 44th Test.

Nick Phipps scored Australia's solitary try on a miserable night for Michael Cheika's men, who also lost Matt Giteau, Rob Horne and Matt Toomua to injury in their biggest ever home defeat to New Zealand.

The All Blacks suffered an early double blow when Codie Taylor took a blow to the head and went off for a concussion test before Bernard Foley landed a penalty.

Taylor was unable to return, so regular hooker Coles stayed on to replace him despite carrying a rib injury, but New Zealand put that early setback behind them to take the lead.

Crotty was on hand to take a pass from Kieran Read and race away for the opening try six minutes in and Barrett converted before Australia lost the returning Giteau to an ankle injury.

Two Barrett penalties put the rampant world champions 13-3 to the good and Australia breathed a sigh of relief when Brodie Retallick had a try ruled out for offside in-between those strikes from the tee.

New Zealand were not to be denied a second try after 27 minutes and it was the influential Barrett who scurried through a gap to touch down after a slick move that started in the Australia half.

The Wallabies were being torn apart and worse was to come when Kaino charged down Foley's kick before scooping up the ball to touch down, with Barrett unable to make it three conversions out of three.

Australia had lost three inside centres when Toomua and Horne went off and were 32-3 down at the break after Naholo went under the posts following a turnover, though he injured himself in the process.

Coles reached over for another try to finish off another excellent All Blacks move as they carried on where they left off following the interval and the clinical Savea finished in the corner soon after.

Phipps dotted down for Australia's first try five minutes from time, but that was no consolation for the Wallabies at the end of another New Zealand masterclass.