All Blacks banish Perth demons

By RNZ.co.nz. Republished with permission

The All Blacks have completed a three-nil sweep of the Wallabies in this year’s Bledisloe Cup series, despite being reduced to 14 men in the third test in Perth.

They have beaten Australia 38-21 after leading 18-0 at halftime to move atop the Rugby Championship standings after two of six rounds.

The All Blacks completed the sweep without new captain Ardie Savea, who along with hooker Codie Taylor was unable to play any part in the second-half after they failed head injury assessments at halftime.

The Wallabies won 47-26 the last time the two sides met in Perth, where lock Scott Barrett was red carded.

This time around fullback Jordie Barrett was sent off after being deemed to have kicked Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete in the face when he was catching a high ball.

He was given his marching orders in the 28th minute, 10 minutes after he had scored New Zealand’s first try, after a clever grubber kick from older brother Beauden Barrett.

The All Blacks led 13-0 at the time, with Beauden Barrett having kicked a couple of penalties and a conversion.

The Wallabies weren’t able to capitalise on their numerical superiority and they ended up trailing by 18 points at the break when David Havili scored from a well worked lineout drive on the stroke of halftime.

The All Blacks kept Australia scoreless until the 50th minute, when Wallabies hooker Folau Fainga’a crashed over, moments after New Zealand were back to 15 men.

Damian McKenzie replaced Jordie Barrett under a new law being adopted in the Rugby Championship.

Lolesio converted the try to give the Wallabies hope at 18-7.

That hope quickly evaporated when the All Blacks scored two tries in six minutes to take a 28-7 lead.

Will Jordan scored the first in the right corner after some individual brilliance from Akira Ioane, who beat three players on halfway and then drew in the fullback to send Jordan over.

Havili then intercepted a wayward Australian pass to run 70 odd metres to score his second to the left of the uprights.

Replacement halfback Nic White grabbed a try back for Australia in the 66th minute before Anton Lienert-Brown and George Bridge scored two great team tries for the All Blacks to stretch the lead to 38-14.

Fullback Tom Banks scored a late consolation try for the Wallabies to cut the deficit to 17 points, that would have been far greater if it wasn’t for some wayward goal kicking from Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie.

The All Blacks and Wallabies will now fly across Australia to Queensland, where the remainder of the Rugby Championship will be played.

Gold Coast will host a double-header next Sunday, with the All Blacks to play Argentina before the Wallabies square off against the world champion Springboks.

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