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All Blacks secure record on perfect stage

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/10/2016 Angelo Risso

If there was ever a perfect game for the All Blacks to bring up their record 18th straight Test win, it was this one.

The world champions produced the goods under pressure to trump Australia 37-10 in a gritty Eden Park affair and secure their record feat.

No tier-one side in history has ever won 18 on the trot, and only minnows Cyprus have won more at any level with 24.

New Zealand looked below their peerless best in Auckland, having barely a third of ball possession and almost 80 less passes than their trans-Tasman rivals.

Yet a wasteful display from the Wallabies, who wasted numerous chances to put serious pressure on their opponents inside the 22, gave the Kiwis a straight-forward victory.

Head coach Steve Hansen congratulated his players for securing the Test record, saying they'd been through the mill against a gallant Australian side.

His side struggled to assert dominance until the final 20 minutes, when they put on three tries to end the contest.

Hansen also admitted the decision to controversially disallow Australian winger Henry Speight's try for obstruction had changed the contest.

"It's been a really tough game, just the sort of game that if you're going to break a record on, you'd want," Hansen told reporters.

"Probably the turning point was when they didn't get their one awarded and mentally we got a bit of a charge out of that."

The All Blacks raced out to a quick 10-nil lead in the first half through tries to winger Israel Dagg and young gun Anton Lienert-Brown, but the Wallabies refused to crumble.

A try to lock Rory Arnold and several missed opportunities rattled the Kiwis until a TJ Perenara knock-down try sent them into the break 15-7 ahead.

Speight's try was disallowed soon after the break for an obstruction on chasing defender Julian Savea, galvanising New Zealand into action with two Savea tries and a penalty.

A Dane Coles effort in the last two minutes, set up by the rampaging Savea, put the match to bed.

Wallabies boss Michael Cheika was apoplectic with the decision to disallow Speight's effort, which would have given them the chance to kick themselves into the lead.

But he admitted New Zealand were the better side on the day after taking advantage of too much Wallabies ball turnover.

"I've never seen a shepherd from behind before," Cheika said.

"Obviously I can't say anything because they've got you by the throat."

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read said the match felt like a grand final given the record on the line.

He said the improved Wallabies had put his side under intense pressure and knocked on too much ball until the final quarter of the match.

"The boys will be very proud to come through it, a different type of game, similar to a final, a game that had a lot on it," the No.8 said.

"There's no right for our team to finish on top, you've got to keep working hard."

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