Rugby Championship: New Zealand beat Australia 38-13 in opener in Sydney

New Zealand
New Zealand scored five second-half tries against Australia to take a 1-0 lead in the Bledisloe Cup
Rugby Championship
Australia (6) 13
Try: Maddocks Con: Foley Pens: Hodge, Foley
New Zealand (5) 38
Tries: Smith, Goodhue, Barrett, Retallick, Naholo 2 Cons: Barrett 4

New Zealand scored 33 second-half points as they beat Australia 38-13 in the 2018 Rugby Championship opener.

The Wallabies edged a tight first half, but the All Blacks scored before the break through Aaron Smith in Sydney.

Jack Goodhue crossed for their second and Beauden Barrett the third as the Wallabies' set-piece buckled and Brodie Retallick secured a try-bonus point.

Jack Maddocks pulled one back on his debut but Waisake Naholo scored a late brace to cap off a clinical display.

The two sides meet again on 25 August at Eden Park, Auckland in round two before the final Bledisloe Cup Test on 27 October in Japan.

The victory was a record 13th consecutive Rugby Championship win for the defending champions.

"Credit to the Wallabies, we had to fight really hard and it was a full 80-minute game," All Blacks captain Kieran Read told Sky Sports.

"They had probably dominated the first half so to get that score [just before half-time] was crucial. The resilience of the boys was awesome."

Australia off the pace

In the 2017 Rugby Championship opener, Australia trailed 40-6 at half-time as they endured a thrashing in Sydney.

One year on, they looked more assured defensively and were set to go into the break with a 6-0 lead.

But two minutes before half-time, returning captain Read found scrum-half Smith to reduce the deficit to just one point and an onslaught of five second-half tries ensued.

Centre Goodhue finished off a length-of-the-field counter-attack, Barrett burst into life with a nice individual effort and Retallick capped off an outstanding performance with a clever dummy.

Australia, who were frustrated by the referee's calls all afternoon including a possible tip-tackle by Naholo on Folau in the first half, then lost the full-back to a possible ankle injury as Naholo twice dismantled their defence.

The Wallabies claimed a rare victory over the world champions when the two sides met in Brisbane last year in the final Bledisloe Cup match - which was not part of the Rugby Championship - but have still not won back-to-back Tests against New Zealand since 2001.

Australia: Folau; Haylett-Petty, Hodge, Beale, Koroibete; Foley, Genia; Robertson, Polota-Nau, Kepy, Rodda, Coleman, Tui, Hooper (capt), Pocock.

Bench: Latu, Alaalatoa, Ainsley, Simmons, Samu, Phipps, Toomua, Maddocks.

New Zealand: Smith; Naholo, Goodhue, Crotty, Ioane; B Barrett, Smith; Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Squire, Cane, Read (capt).

Replacements: Harris, Perry, Tuinukuake, S Barrett, Savea, Perenara, McKenzie, Lienert-Brown.

South Africa see off Argentina

Wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries each as South Africa rallied in the second half to beat Argentina 34-21 in their Rugby Championship opener at Kings Park.

The Springboks out-scored the Pumas by six tries to three but again made heavy work of their victory before finishing strongly.

Lukhanyo Am and Faf de Klerk scored South Africa's other tries while Nicolas Sanchez, Pablo Matera and Matias Moroni crossed for Argentina.

The Boks continued a trend set in the first two matches of their three-Test series against England in June when they went behind early and were forced to come back to win.

Top Stories