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Australian niggle taken too far: NZ pack

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/08/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

Australia's failed bid to niggle their way to a Bledisloe Cup Test win shows the importance of balance, say the All Blacks.

Three senior New Zealand forwards, including captain Kieran Read, say the Wallabies went too far with their approach as the home side eased away to win 29-9 in Wellington on Saturday and retain the silverware.

The first half, in particular, was marked by Australia's attempt to hustle the world champions off their game.

Several stoppages in play ended with pushing and shoving while there was relentless banter between both packs.

Read admits his team got bogged down in the gamesmanship before finding their focus - something the Wallabies failed to do.

"Perhaps we let it get to us a bit too much in that first half," Read said.

Bledisloe Cup Australia v New Zealand: Captain Kieran Read, says the Wallabies went too far with their approach © Getty Images Captain Kieran Read, says the Wallabies went too far with their approach "Once we were able to control our own game, it takes away all the extra stuff."

Prop Wyatt Crockett, who came off the bench for his 50th Test, says the All Blacks are always trying to find the right balance between passive and aggressive rugby.

He suggested the Wallabies went too far.

"You can probably get a bit over the top at times and let that distract you from playing footy," he said.

"We just tried to make sure we're in the right zone and try to play footy and not get too wound up."

Hooker Dane Coles, a player guilty in the past of being wound up by opposition goading, believed the niggle went on too long.

He also said Australia's attitude to scrummaging has been more destructive than constructive.

"Our mentality is to get the ball in, ball out. Theirs might be to play for a penalty," he said.

"I'm not sure of their mindset, but it was a bit messy."

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