The Bledisloe Cup was retained once again by the All Blacks, keeping Australia scoreless in a test match between these two rivals for the first time since 1962, as Dan Carer provided 16 of the 22 points in Auckland, running all over the clueless Wallabies 22-0 for a second straight win in the 2012 Rugby Championship.
It wasn’t that Australia didn’t have opportunities. Possession numbers, unlike the first encounter in Sydney last week, were pretty much even. But there was no inspiration or anything above average play from Australia’s backs, Quade Cooper and Will Genia, that could do any kind of damage against a very well held New Zealand line. Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane and Berrick Barnes simply couldn’t get anything to breakthrough with.
On the other end it was another case of terrible mistakes which happen again and again for the Wallabies, giving Dan Carter an easy night with his kicking, scoring all nine points in the first half, adding 7 more in the second, including a conversion after Israel Dagg’s second try of the tournament. The full back was pretty much everywhere once again, enjoying a very nice buildup from Sonny Bill Williams and Dan Carter to score the try right after the second half began and putting the game well beyond reach of the Aussies.
Australia didn’t wait long to have an opportunity to put some points on the board, but preferred to keep on hammering the line in hope of scoring a try, not even thinking about the possibility of finishing the match with a 0 on the scorecard. Some terrible handling and a bad line out gave the ball back to the All Blacks, and the Australian never really saw a good opportunity once again for the final 25 minutes of the match.
The only questions left after this match is not whether New Zealand will be crowned champions after six matches, but will they whitewash the tournament, going six for six? Argentina might not stop South Africa from joining the All Blacks at top of the table, for now, with two wins as well, but it’s really hard seeing anyone beating the All Blacks, home & away, play so efficiently on both ends of the pitch and especially when it comes to stifling offenses that lack a bit of spark.