All Blacks produce emphatic response

The All Blacks have bounced back in emphatic fashion, celebrating skipper Richie McCaw’s world record Test appearance by overwhelming the Wallabies 41-13 in Auckland.

It was McCaw’s 142nd cap, and he got a standing ovation from the capacity crowd 48,450 crowd when he was substituted with 13 minutes to go.

The result on Saturday night also meant New Zealand lifted the Bledisloe Cup for the 13th successive season, after the trophy had been in danger of crossing the Tasman through Australia’s 27-19 win in Sydney.

The All Blacks, who ran in five tries, blew the contest open by scoring three of them in six minutes early in the second spell.

The first was a penalty try after a high tackle by Wallabies first five-eighth Quade Cooper, who had a return to Eden Park to forget.

Cooper was yellow-carded for the tackle and, with a man down, the Wallabies conceded two further tries.

All Black opposite Dan Carter, whose display seven days ago had come under the spotlight, replied with a strong performance and showed some of his running of old.

Others of the All Blacks’ experienced brigade also also stood out, including the midfield pairing of Conrad Smith and Ma’a Nonu.

Both got on the scoresheet as well, with Nonu getting two tries.

The All Blacks admitted they were hurting after their defeat at ANZ Stadium and they lifted their intensity.

They weathered a shaky opening quarter in which the sides each landed a penalty.

They then went ahead in spectacular fashion with a near length-of-the-field try that featured a 40-metre finish by hooker Dane Coles.

The Wallabies had been dominating territory and were driving from an attacking lineout when the All Blacks pinched a turnover just out from their line and broke out.

Carter stepped through a gap and Coles was on hand to sprint away to the line, scoring a try reminiscent of his effort against the Springboks three weeks ago.

Carter and Cooper again traded penalties as the All Blacks went into half-time up 13-6.

Winger Nehe Milner-Skudder was the catalyst as the All Blacks pulled away.

His quick feet took him through the defensive line and he produced a deft offload to halfback Aaron Smith, who was hit high by Cooper just out from the line.

It was Milner-Skudder’s kick ahead that began the counterattack that lead to Nonu get the first of his two tries.

When Conrad Smith dotted down and Carter converted, the score had blown out to 34-6.

Carter and Nonu then combined before the latter powered over for his second try.

There was a late consolation for the Wallabies with fullback Israel Folau, who was brilliant under the high ball all night, collecting an opposition cross-kick and running away to touch down.

The Test was the last for the All Blacks before they begin their defence of the World Cup.

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