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Dominant All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup

NZN 27/08/2016 By Daniel Gilhooly

The All Blacks say the Bledisloe Cup isn't losing its lustre despite a second crushing win over Australia in the space of a week.

The 13th straight defence of the trans-Tasman silverware was among the most straightforward for New Zealand, whose 29-9 win in Wellington followed a 42-8 romp in Sydney.

A feisty but limited Wallabies side were brushed aside four tries to nil on Saturday as the All Blacks ensured the Bledisloe Cup would stay where it had resided since 2003.

Coach Steve Hansen said a niggly Wallabies side brought more physicality than in Sydney, making his team's win a meritorious one.

He rejected a suggestion the gap between the nations was the biggest in recent memory.

"On the scoreboard, it looks like we're going pretty easy but I don't think anyone would say it was easy out there tonight," Hansen said.

"The skill level of our guys tonight was really good under extreme pressure at times.

"At the moment, I think that's probably where we've got a little bit of an edge.

"I don't want to sit here and bag Australia. They're one of our best friends."

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

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

It was a sixth successive loss for the Wallabies, who continued 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 heated exchanges between the teams for much of the match.

Hansen said the Wallabies' approach came as no surprise after their listless Sydney effort.

"You had to expect something was coming ... last week, nothing came," he said.

"Australia turned up and threw everything they had at us, and a little bit more.

"We just learn how to cope with that and still score tries, which we did, so that was pretty pleasing."

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 counterpart 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 Julian 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 in attack.

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