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Dominant All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/08/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

The All Blacks have locked away the Bledisloe Cup for a 13th successive season after brushing aside a feisty but limited Wallabies 29-9.

New Zealand on Saturday night played with the authority but not the panache of their 42-8 win in Sydney a week earlier, and scored four unanswered tries in the Wellington encounter.

It was easily enough to hold on to the Bledisloe Cup, which last changed hands in 2003 and has rarely been defended in such resounding fashion.

Switching from fullback to wing wasn't a problem for Israel Dagg, who scored two tries to put his team 15-6 ahead at halftime.

He set up another in the second half, which the All Blacks dominated.

However, they could add only two more tries, through winger Julian Savea and flanker Sam Cane.

It was a sixth successive loss for the Wallabies, who continue a 15-year winless streak in New Zealand.

They adopted a niggling approach early on, trying to knock the world champions off their stride with some push and shove.

It prompted feisty vocal exchanges from both teams for much of the match.

While the Wallabies were more robust than a week earlier, their back line failed to fire.

Restored first five-eighth Quade Cooper struggled with the inevitable jeers from the home crowd in a patchy display.

Bernard Foley was exposed defensively in an unfamiliar role one place outside Cooper.

The Australians were effective on scramble defence, not allowing the simple tries on offer in Sydney.

The All Blacks had a decent edge in the set piece battle but their skills didn't hit the high notes of a week earlier.

Dagg crossed in the seventh minute following a slick series of phases that ended with a looping pass from Anton Lienert-Brown, in what was the second five-eighth's first touch in Test rugby.

Wallabies second five-eighth Bernard Foley kicked two penalties to Beauden Barrett's one before the New Zealand first five-eighth's pace helped put Dagg across for his second.

Wallabies reserve winger Reece Hodge, making his Test debut, drilled over a 52m penalty but his team's hopes took a knock when lock Adam Coleman was shown a yellow card for a shoulder charge late in the first spell.

The All Blacks finally capitalised on their numerical advantage seven minutes into the second spell when Dagg claimed a high ball and went on to provide the last pass to Savea.

Outstanding flanker Sam Cane burrowed over from close range but the All Blacks couldn't score again in the final quarter despite spending most of it camped on attack.

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