Read thrilled by 'awesome' All Blacks first half in Sydney

Kieran Read said it felt "pretty surreal" to be involved in the first half of New Zealand's 54-34 win over Australia in the Rugby Championship, as the All Blacks ran riot at ANZ Stadium with six tries.

The eventual winning margin for Steve Hansen's men may have been 20 points, but they looked set to record an even more convincing win following an embarrassingly one-sided opening period.

Liam Squire, Rieko Ioane (2), Ryan Crotty (2) and Sonny Bill Williams all crossed prior to the interval, New Zealand able to capitalise ruthlessly on some shambolic defending from the Wallabies.

Having led 40-6 at half-time, the All Blacks stretched further clear through Damian McKenzie and Ben Smith before Australia belatedly fought back - running in four tries of their own to regain some respectability.

Despite the hosts' rally, New Zealand's dominance of the opening period was the major talking point after the game.

"[It was] pretty surreal, that first half, to be honest," said skipper Read in a post-match interview with Fox Sports. "We obviously came here to try and play our game and it really came off. A lot of the passes stuck and it was a pretty awesome first half.

"It's nice to play in when it's coming off like that. It probably came about from the simple things. We carried really hard, were able to tighten them up, I guess, and exploit a few gaps out wide. Probably [in the] second half we thought it was maybe going to come that easy, so we just need to tidy that up.

"The boys just enjoy putting on that jersey. There's nothing better than coming to Sydney, a big Test for us, and it showed with our intensity. That first half was pretty awesome.

"I think it showed the quality of the Aussie side to come back in it [in the] second half. Perhaps we just took our foot off the throat there."

The second Bledisloe Cup Test takes place in Dunedin next Saturday and Read hopes his side can replicate their first-half showing in Sydney.

"We have to turn up next week with the same attitude we showed at the start and it won't come that easy," he added.

"We're going to have to be a bit smarter in that last 20, 30 minutes. We just let them come back into the game."

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