Aussies fail the basics as All Blacks run riot
AUSTRALIA is staring down the barrel of a 16th successive Bledisloe Cup defeat after being hammered 38-13 by the All Blacks in Sydney.
And it looks like they'll have to do Mission Impossible without star fullback Israel Folau, who injured his ankle.
The blowout score was a result of a second half blitz by the Kiwis at ANZ Stadium after Australia had led 6-5 at the break.
New Zealand hold a 1-0 lead heading into the second match next Saturday at Eden Park, where the Wallabies have not beaten them since 1986.
Despite the 54-34 flogging in Sydney last year, the Kiwis' 25-point winning margin is even greater.
Last year Australia produced a stunning turnaround to nearly win in Dunedin before a late try sealed it for the All Blacks, but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika doesn't want to use that for motivation.
"I believe in my lads a lot, I really do, we don't need to lose to then have to go and try to have to win," Cheika said.
"It's what we need to learn to be better at, keep doing what we know we can do and keep delivering and let the score look after itself.
"Whatever side of the coin that ends up, you'll be right once you do everything you need to do, the way you want to do it individually, your role, and with the objectives of the team in mind as well."
Asked Asked how they'll turn this rout around to create history in Auckland, Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper simply replied: "We have a plan".
It looked so promising after 39 minutes, with Australia leading 6-0 despite the Kiwis having most of the ball.
But the All Blacks stormed home by ruthlessly exposing the Wallabies' shaky set-piece and tearing through their defence with pinpoint attack in front of 66,318 largely disappointed fans.
The Wallabies lost seven of their own lineout throws and were penalised numerous times at the scrum, which will need much attention over the next seven days.
Folau limped off with a leg injury in the second half and he will be in doubt.
Debutant Jack Maddocks scored Australia's only try in the 67th minute.
That and Australia's strong defence for most of the first half were the highlights.
The rest was the same old story that has been told since 2003, when New Zealand took the trophy and haven't given it back since.
The All Blacks scored tries one minute before halftime and three minutes after the break to break Australia's spirit.
The Kiwis had nearly 60 per cent of the possession in the first half but could not crack the Wallabies' line until the 39th minute with a freakish piece of play.
Fullback Ben Smith made a break down the right edge after beating Lukhan Tui's tackle, and the ball went to Waisake Naholo.
The winger drew two defenders and flung the ball back inside just before his foot was in touch, and skipper Kieran Read was backing up to take the pass.
Read found Aaron Smith inside him and the halfback darted over to score the first try of the game.
Beauden Barrett, who had missed a penalty goal attempt from 40 metres out one minute before, also missed the sideline conversion to ensure Australia had the edge at the break.
But soon after resumption, the Kiwis were in front.
Marika Koroibete was stripped of possession by rival Naholo, and the All Blacks quickly spread the ball in their own 22.
Winger Rieko Ioane was unleashed out wide as Australia's defence was caught short, and his inside pass to Jack Goodhue gave the centre a clear 55 metre run to the tryline in the 43rd minute.
Nine minutes later, the visitors were in again courtesy of Barrett brilliance.
Wallabies winger Dane Haylett-Petty lost the ball 35 metres out, and Barrett grubbered the ball with his right foot, then his left, then his right again to score despite Will Genia's chase.
Two late tries by Naholo stamped New Zealand's authority on the match.
Reece Hodge had put Australia ahead 3-0 with a 39-metre penalty goal in the 11th minute after a Kieran Read ruck infringement.
Another Kiwi ruck penalty as they desperately defended their line allowed Bernard Foley to add another penalty in the 21st minute.
With Taniela Tupou ruled out with a hamstring injury on the eve of the game, Jermaine Ainsley made his Test debut.
Sekope Kepu was taken off for a head injury assessment in the 35th minute and Ainsley was penalised at the ensuing scrum, leading to Barrett's miss.
Kiwi lock Brodie Rettalick produced an outstanding performance in his return to Test rugby after an 11-month absence to claim man-of-the-match honour