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Australia vs New Zealand LIVE: Rugby Championship result and reaction as All Blacks retain title

The All Blacks sealed a third successive Rugby Championship title as they blew Australia and Eddie Jones apart with a 38-7 victory in Melbourne

Harry Latham-Coyle
Saturday 29 July 2023 13:19 BST
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(Getty Images)

New Zealand wrapped up a third successive Rugby Championship title with a 38-7 victory over rivals Australia in Melbourne.

While the Wallabies showed improvement defensively, they struggled to match the pace and power of the All Blacks, who appear to be hitting formidable form ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Tries from Shannon Frizell, Codie Taylor, Will Jordan, Caleb Clarke, Mark Telea and Rieko Ioane ensured that the Bledisloe Cup will remain in New Zealand’s hands for another year, extending their run with the trans-Tasman trophy to 21 years ahead of next week’s encounter in Dunedin.

And injuries to tighthead props Allan Alaalatoa and Taniela Tupou will only cause Eddie Jones further frets as a tough start to his second stint in charge of Australia continues.

Follow live updates from Australia vs New Zealand in the final round of the Rugby Championship below

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Australia vs New Zealand - Rugby Championship

It’s a dry and reasonably warm winter evening in Melbourne, pleasant conditions for some running rugby. An all-English group of officials will be led by Wayne Barnes, who has tossed up with the two stand-in skippers.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (Eng)

ARs: Karl Dickson (Eng) & Christophe Ridley (Eng)

TMO: Tom Foley (Eng)

(Getty Images)
Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:32
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Australia vs New Zealand - Rugby Championship

I thought that Eddie Jones might try to get Fraser McReight in his back row, the flanker’s fetching hands surely useful in slowing the All Blacks around the contact area, but Jones has instead opted for extra biff and beef in his pack. The Wallabies are reasonably well equipped to take on the world’s biggest sides physically, and an approach predicated on power might be their likeliest route to something resembling World Cup success, but you fear this selection could truggle to stall New Zealand if they get going in possession.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:28
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Australia vs New Zealand - Rugby Championship

It’s a huge opportunity for Carter Gordon tonight, the fly-half a Queenslander by birth but now an adopted Melbourne favourite. The Rebels playmaker has plenty of developing to do but Quade Cooper has looked rather rusty after that long lay-off due to an Achilles injury, potentially leaving a spot there for the taking. I’m a little surprised that Eddie Jones has chosen not to pair his new ten with Nic White in the halves, but Tate McDermott’s inclusion perhaps reflects a desire to play with more pace.

(Getty Images)
Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:18
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Australia vs New Zealand - Rugby Championship

An eye-catching result elsewhere this morning, with a far from full-strength Fiji securing a rather handy win over Samoa in Apia. Simon Raiwalui has to deal with a couple of withdrawals from his likely World Cup squad, Peceli Yato and Api Ratuniyarawa opting to honour club contracts in France instead, but the Fiji coach seems to be building real depth, aided by the success of the Drua in Super Rugby Pacific over the last couple of seasons.

Fiji, remember, are in Pool C alongside Wales and Australia - the Pacific Islanders face the presumed quarter-finalists on the first two weekends of World Cup action and will rather fancy their chances.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:14
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Australia bid to end Bledisloe woe

It’s more than 20 years since the Wallabies last lifted the Bledisloe Cup, Eddie Jones the coach in 2002 as Australia claimed the trans-Tasman trophy for a fifth successive year. A victory today for the All Blacks would keep it in their hands, with just next week’s meeting in Dunedin to come before attention turns more fully to World Cup preparation.

“I probably get asked that question every year,” Australia prop James Slipper said in Melbourne on Friday when pressed on whether this was the time to end the drought.

“My first game was actually here in Melbourne against the All Blacks [in 2010]. I got asked that question then. It’s one of those things that we’re just going to have to understand that it’s part of our history.

““We’re trying to build something. In terms of staff, coaches, there are new players in the squad.

“We’ve got a new five-eighth, he’s going to lead us around, he’s young, he’s from Melbourne. So there’s a different landscape to us.

“But in saying that I’m not going to stand here and say we’re the finished product - but one thing I’m going to say is we’re going to work bloody hard to be.”

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:08
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New Zealand seek to seal a Rugby Championship sweep

While Australia still have plenty to decipher before they head off to France at the start of September, there is a real sense that the All Blacks are hitting their straps again, the first half performance against South Africa about the best New Zealand have produced in this World Cup cycle. Ian Foster’s settled combinations get a chance to go again - if the backline clicks in the way it did in Auckland, it could be a tough evening for the Wallabies.

Foster seems to have solved a couple of problem positions this summer, Shannon Frizell blooming on the blindside and Ethan de Groot and Tyrel Lomax ever more solid, secure and strong as a propping pair.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 10:02
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Can Eddie Jones engineer a Wallabies turnaround?

It’s not been the start that Eddie Jones would have wanted to his second stint in charge of Australia, the Wallabies much better against Argentina in Sydney than they were in South Africa in round one but still falling to back-to-back defeats. The All Blacks will fancy their chances of exploiting a defensive system still bedding in under the guidance of inexperienced rugby league convert Brett Hodgson, but a fortnight of preparation should have helped the hosts build a bit of cohesion.

Jones’s England were thoroughly outplayed during most of their meeting with New Zealand last November, but found a way to fightback with three tries in a madcap final ten minutes to secure a draw. Can the Sydneysider scheme something up to spring a Bledisloe Cup surprise?

(AP)
Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 09:55
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Team News – New Zealand

There’s little tinkering required to the All Blacks line-up, Ian Foster seemingly having settled on his best side, with just the one change to the starting fifteen that so blew away South Africa in the first quarter a fortnight ago. That switch is enforced, Sam Cane ruled out with a neck injury, leaving Dalton Papali’i to take over on the openside flank and Ardie Savea as skipper.

Behind the scrum, it’s the same again for Foster, with all of those playmakers back in harness, while faces old and new catch the eye on the bench: a fit-again Sam Whitelock will win cap number 144 when he is brought on; scrum-half Cam Roigard, a standout for the Hurricanes this year, will get his first when he is introduced.

New Zealand XV: Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Dalton Papali’i, Ardie Savea (capt.); Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga; Mark Telea, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Will Jordan; Beauden Barrett.

Replacements: Samisoni Taukei’aho, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Nepo Laulala, Sam Whitelock, Luke Jacobson; Cam Roigard, Anton Lienert-Brown, Caleb Clarke.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 09:52
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Team News – Australia

Eddie Jones continues to shuffle through his pack as he tries to figure out his first-choice Wallabies side on the fly. Two defeats from his first two games in charge prompt a half-back rethink, with Tate McDermott and first-time starter Carter Gordon taking over from Nic White and Quade Cooper. A midfield of Samu Kerevi and Jordan Petaia should provide plenty of strike running threat.

Up front, Angus Bell will hope to put a difficult year with injury behind him as he steps into the starting side, while, in the absence of Michael Hooper, namesake Tom gets the nod on the openside, his size and spring preferred to Fraser McReight’s ability over the ball. With M. Hooper’s co-captain James Slipper only on the bench, Allan Alaalatoa will lead the Wallabies.

Australia XV: Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Allan Alaalatoa (capt.); Nick Frost, Will Skelton; Jed Holloway, Tom Hooper, Rob Valetini; Tate McDermott, Carter Gordon; Marika Koroibete, Samu Kerevi, Jordan Petaia, Mark Nawaqanitawase; Andrew Kellaway.

Replacements: Jordan Uelese, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Richie Arnold, Rob Leota; Nic White, Quade Cooper, Izaia Perese.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 09:50
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Rugby Championship LIVE: Australia vs New Zealand

Yes, it’s off to the Melbourne as we begin the final weekend of this abridged Rugby Championship, the All Blacks hoping to seal the retention of their crown and deepen Eddie Jones’s problems in this first Bledisloe Cup encounter of the year. The Wallabies are at the MCG for the first time since 2007, with more than 80,000 expected at this capacious cricketing cathedral.

Harry Latham-Coyle29 July 2023 09:45

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