Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Zealand complete Bledisloe Cup clean sweep in Dunedin

New Zealand sealed a 3-0 Bledisloe Cup whitewash as they beat Australia 41-33 in Dunedin, maintaining their unbeaten run this year. A much improved Wallabies side showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with though, scoring three tries of their own.

The All Blacks had already wrapped up the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup, retaining the latter for an incredible 11th straight season. This win equalled their world record for home victories, with their 30th in succession, matching the record previously reached between 2003-2008.

The All Blacks scored four tries to three, satisfying coach Steve Hansen on attack despite the Wallabies looking dangerous and at one stage perhaps scoring a little too easily for his liking.

"It wasn't perfect but we really didn't expect it to be from where we've been and what we've done in the last three weeks," said the head coach. "Maybe we let a couple of soft ones in but at the end of the day it's a lot better than last year," he added, referring to the 18-18 draw last season.

"It's been a big couple of weeks. We've gone around the world and played two big opposition teams, and you can't underestimate how hard the game in South Africa was. To come here and show a bit of mental fortitude again, and play pretty well against a team that played pretty well as well."

Wallaby captain James Horwill was obviously unhappy with the loss, but pleased with the effort.

"We are bitterly disappointed. We came here to win. We never like to lose but we're proud of the effort the guys put in. We were always trying to win the game no matter what the scoreboard was and we went down swinging," he said. 

The Wallabies have won just three out of ten matches this year, with two wins over Argentina and the one against the Lions during the home series in June.

Both sides have a busy few weeks ahead, with New Zealand taking on Japan first, then France, England and Ireland. Australia will take on each one of the home nations in consecutive weeks, as well as Italy. Their first match is against England in a fortnight.

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