McCaw's ominous All Blacks wallop Wallabies

New Zealand 30 Australia 14
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The Independent Online

New Zealand retained the Bledisloe Cup with well-taken tries, by Ma'a Nonu, Keven Mealamu and Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Daniel Carter kicked 15 points. Digby Ioane and Rocky Elsom scored tries for the Wallabies and Quade Cooper converted both, but the Wallabies were mostly thwarted by a brutal All Black defence. James O'Connor missed three penalties.

"It was great to win and the Bledisloe Cup is very important to Richie [McCaw] and the boys," said the All Blacks coach, Graham Henry. "They're delighted about that and the way they played the game. I thought the defence was outstanding."

Carter opened the scoring with a 38-metre penalty after David Pocock was penalised at the breakdown, before the All Blacks scored two tries after soaking up pressure from the Wallabies. The scrum-half Piri Weepu sparked the first when he exploited a weak blindside defence to sprint 30m. Play switched back across field for Nonu to barrel over.

The All Blacks' second try again came from deep inside their own half; Nonu got to within centimetres of the line, only to be stopped just short. Mealamu, however, wrestled his way over. Carter converted for a 17-0 lead; O'Connor then missed two penalties in the final 10 minutes of the half and another after the break and Carter extended New Zealand's lead to 20-0 with a drop-goal from 25m. Australia then scored when Will Genia and Kurtley Beale combined to put Ioane into space for the try.

Australia looked to have gone to sleep at the restart, though, as Kieran Read contested the ball and Conrad Smith scooped it up before putting Sivivatu over. Carter's touchline conversion made it 27-7.

Carter kicked a scrum penalty for an unassailable lead with about 10 minutes remaining, before Elsom scored a consolation try with less than five minutes to go.

"We are pretty disappointed with our effort," said the Wallabies coach' Robbie Deans. "Tactically, we probably didn't help ourselves. We allowed the All Blacks to establish the defensive line and allowed them to establish some line speed in that defence and that stymied our attack. We left a lot of points out there as well."

New Zealand: M Muliaina; S Sivivatu (C Slade, 55), C Smith, M Nonu (S Williams, 68), H Gear; D Carter, P Weepu (A Ellis, 59); W Crockett (B Franks, 49), K Mealamu (A Hore, 59), O Franks, B Thorn, A Williams (S Whitelock, 64), J Kaino (A Thompson, 70), K Read, R McCaw (capt).

Australia: K Beale; J O'Connor, A Ashley-Cooper, P McCabe, D Ioane; Q Cooper, W Genia; S Kepu, S Moore (S Faingaa, 68), B Alexander, R Simmons (D Vickerman, 53), J Horwill, R Elsom (capt), B McCalman (S Higginbotham, 55), D Pocock.

Referee: C Joubert (South Africa).